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Thread: confused and panicking!

  1. #1
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    Sep 2011
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    Default confused and panicking!

    my 10 week old has started sleeping at long hours in the night and this is giving me problems. so far he has been thriving and my milk supply was great. once he started sleeping through the night, i was engorged in the mornings, so i started to block feed. this resulted in a reduced supply and i had to spend a couple of days having him switch breasts again and again till he had his fill. that worked great and supply was back up. but since he is again sleeping through the nights, this cycle has repeated. now i am low on supply again, his poop has been greenish and am REALLY worried that my prolactin levels will drop off and supply wont be restored. what is supposed to happen when the baby starts sleeping at 4-5 hour stretches in the night? i thought this is GOOD, but how should i handle the milk supply issue?
    also another thing, ever since my supply dropped for the second time, my LO has become really fussy about nursing on my left breast. i just dont get it. he seems to chew it hard and comes off it almost right away, though he is hungry. if that breast is full, he stays on it till the foremilk is running fast and by the time he gets to the hindmilk, he gives up. am really confused, and very worried (tho i know worrying is just gonna make it worse).

  2. #2
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    Relax, mama! Everything is okay. This is all in the normal realm, and it is all fixable. It should fix itself even if you do nothing other than nurse on demand.

    When a baby starts to sleep longer at night, it's normal to experience some engorgement in the morning. It takes the body a certain period of time to realize that the 5 hour stretch of no demand it is experiencing is not just a one-time thing, and to adjust the nighttime supply to the proper level. How long a period of time? Could be just one night, could be a couple of weeks. While this adjustment is taking place, it's common to see some green poops. At least 1-2 feedings per day (those first morning feedings) are pretty watery and when they work their way through the digestive system they are going to emerge as green poops. As long as the baby's poops are not all consistently green, it's not a big deal and you don't need to block feed, though you might want to do so for those first couple of morning feedings. That will result in a faster adjustment of supply. As long as you don't block feed all day long, you're unlikely to run into trouble.

    You don't have to worry about your prolactin levels. Prolactin responds to demand. Nurse more, and you'll make more. Nurse less, and the levels will fall off. And this system works no matter how long it has been since your baby was born. A lot of moms think that they only have one shot at establishing supply or getting the "right" level of prolactin, but they actually have forever. It's easier to establish supply right in the beginning, but you can increase supply at any time.

    Fussiness at the breast is normal with such a young baby. They are fussy creatures and they have trouble controlling milk flow. Just be patient, keep experimenting with different nursing positions, and stay away from bottles. A lot of moms introduce a bottle when their babies fuss at the breast, thinking that they have to feed the baby somehow and it's just going to be one ofprivacy two times until things get back on track. But then the baby realizes that bottles are easy, and starts to fuss at the breast earlier and earlier, in order to get the bottle.

    One thing to be aware of is that feel "full" is not the norm for a mom whose supply is closely matched to her baby's needs. When supply and demand are in sync, you will probably feel empty or deflated pretty much all the time, unless your baby skips a feeding. It's only when you're making extra milk that you feel full.
    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
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    Mar 2008
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Relax, mama! Everything is okay. This is all in the normal realm, and it is all fixable. It should fix itself even if you do nothing other than nurse on demand.

    When a baby starts to sleep longer at night, it's normal to experience some engorgement in the morning. It takes the body a certain period of time to realize that the 5 hour stretch of no demand it is experiencing is not just a one-time thing, and to adjust the nighttime supply to the proper level. How long a period of time? Could be just one night, could be a couple of weeks. While this adjustment is taking place, it's common to see some green poops. At least 1-2 feedings per day (those first morning feedings) are pretty watery and when they work their way through the digestive system they are going to emerge as green poops. As long as the baby's poops are not all consistently green, it's not a big deal and you don't need to block feed, though you might want to do so for those first couple of morning feedings. That will result in a faster adjustment of supply. As long as you don't block feed all day long, you're unlikely to run into trouble.

    You don't have to worry about your prolactin levels. Prolactin responds to demand. Nurse more, and you'll make more. Nurse less, and the levels will fall off. And this system works no matter how long it has been since your baby was born. A lot of moms think that they only have one shot at establishing supply or getting the "right" level of prolactin, but they actually have forever. It's easier to establish supply right in the beginning, but you can increase supply at any time.

    Fussiness at the breast is normal with such a young baby. They are fussy creatures and they have trouble controlling milk flow. Just be patient, keep experimenting with different nursing positions, and stay away from bottles. A lot of moms introduce a bottle when their babies fuss at the breast, thinking that they have to feed the baby somehow and it's just going to be one ofprivacy two times until things get back on track. But then the baby realizes that bottles are easy, and starts to fuss at the breast earlier and earlier, in order to get the bottle.

    One thing to be aware of is that feel "full" is not the norm for a mom whose supply is closely matched to her baby's needs. When supply and demand are in sync, you will probably feel empty or deflated pretty much all the time, unless your baby skips a feeding. It's only when you're making extra milk that you feel full.
    with all of this, and if you fine that you feel engorged or uncomfortably full after a long stretch of sleep & feedings, i highly recommend you pump or hand express just a little to store in case you need it later on when your son is older and you have to be away from him for whatever reason (return to work, a few hours alone)
    Autumn
    Moma to *Silas* 10-30-07

  4. #4
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    Thanks so much gals! mommal, you really ARE a wonderful encourager. I shall try what you two suggest. Last time however, the engorgement went on for over 3 weeks. My baby was choking badly over the excess flow and hence i began block feeding. Guess should have just seen it through back then. Sigh. Why dont they give all this in some manual the minute a baby is born?
    Oh and btw, in my part of the world (India), docs recommend giving top feeds using a sterilised spoon and bowl. I am guessing thats to avoid babies from getting used to the bottle over breast. Is that common practise elsewhere as well?
    lidarln, i am confused about how i should express and store milk. is there a special container in which milk should be stored, or does any normal steel / plastic cup would do? How do we reheat it? Don't the 'germs' that are there in all freezers contaminate the milk?

  5. #5
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    Advice on infant feeding varies a lot from region to region. In the US, bottles are generally recommended when a baby needs supplemental feedings, but only because most docs are unaware of the danger that the baby may develop a preference for the bottle, or of the alternatives to the bottle. Top-up feedings are not recommended unless there is a reason to think that the baby is not getting enough at the breast, and therefore are not routine practice.

    Expressed milk can be stored in a glass or plastic container in the refrigerator (for around a week) or freezer (up to 6 months in a regular freezer, up to a year in a deep freeze). As long as the milk container is closed, it should not become contaminated by germs.
    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!"

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    The suggestions above are excellent, I am curious though, about sleeping arrangements. I get asked about this issue (milk supply concern after baby starts sleeping longer stretches) here a lot, & I have always suspected that it is because in the US, the norm is for mom and baby to not sleep in close proximity to each other, so moms and babies are, at a very young age, often going for a long stretch of several hours at night not nursing, because mom is not close enough to baby to hear the baby's more subtle 'cues' when he wakes or comes out of a deep sleep (rustle around, coo, whatever) and the less demanding baby just goes back to deep sleep. So what would turn into a nightime nursing session if mom and baby were in close proximity is instead 'missed,' and it does seem to impact supply in many cases.
    So, just curious if you are sleeping in close proximity or not?

    Anyway, whether you want to nurse more at night, or just up nursing sessions during the day, more frequent nursing sessions is often a good solution for many issues.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2011
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    hey lllmeg. yep, i do sleep in close proximity to my baby. in fact i didn't know "co-sleeping" was a term until i came here but to be honest i dont know if this helps pick up cues more quickly in the night. sometimes ive been awake in the middle of the night and noticed my lo rustle and wiggle before he goes back into deep sleep. at those times ive given him a feed, but many times he has slept right through. sometimes i wonder if it is ME who has slept right through and not woken up for his subtle demands! guess babies are such remarkable adapters that it doesnt matter if their mom is in the room or not, they would make sure she hears them if they are hungry enough!
    btw, does co-sleeping mean sleeping in the same bed or sleeping in the same room? here co-sleeping is the norm. traditionally, here there are big families and small houses in the past. so kids getting their own rooms / nurseries would have been a luxury. things are changing now though.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    Co-sleeping can refer to sharing the same bed, to having the baby in a side-car crib that attaches to the parents' bed, or to simply sleeping in the same room with the baby.
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: confused and panicking!

    Yes that's right. Many people (including me, until recently) use co-sleeping to mean parents and baby in the same bed. But mommal is correct about the proper meaning. For sharing the same bed I now use the more specific term "bedsharing."

    Unlike much of the world, in the US, when space permits, babies have been put into their own rooms for decades. The whole "preparing the nursery" thing. This idea-that baby needs his or her own room- is really ingrained in the culture. So even moving baby into the same room can be a big deal and considered a tad 'different' in the US. But studies do show that mom sleeping close to baby improves breastfeeding outcomes.

    As long as baby is gaining well and breastfeeding is going well, I really would not worry much about 'missing' nursing sessions at night, especially as you are sleeping so close. On the other hand, if supply is a concern and/or there is engorgement in the AM, AND there are long stretches of sleep at night, perhaps 'offering' at night-even when baby is asleep-would help. Sometimes it helps to nurse when mom wants to, or feels the need, and not only when baby "asks." This is just one idea and it's a very individual thing, but I like to mention it to moms because we have such a tabooo here about "don't wake a sleeping baby' and sometimes that keeps moms doing what would otherwise come naturally at night.

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