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Thread: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

  1. #1

    Default HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    hmmmm okay where to start...i guess the beginning is the best place
    this is going to be quite lengthy as i want to include all the details in hopes that i get better suited answers!


    My beautiful boy was born on Friday Dec. 9 2011. he weighed 8.5 and was 22 inches long. We had a natural homebirth that went quite smoothly. however, due to the homebirth we missed out on the luxury of having hospital staff mentor us along the way on breastfeeding.

    He was a very sleepy baby and we had a difficult time breastfeeding right at first. if he was asleep and we woke him to feed he became too upset to latch on and then by the time we got him calmed down he was back asleep (plus the fact that we were first time parents without a clue!)

    So fast forward to Tues Dec. 13th at his first check-up. he only weighed 7.0 quite a big loss but the midwife wasn't too concerned because my milk had just come in that morning.

    i continued to BF him as often as he wanted for as long as he wanted. however by that weekend i was starting to get concerned because he hadn't pooped since Tues. morning and he was having some 'brick dust' in his urine. My midwife told me to start pumping and get at least an oz in him with a small syringe (to avoid nipple confusion~i also got some donated milk from a friend since i wasn't able to pump much.)

    at this point my supply started to get VERY low as he wasn't too interested in eating and was, as my midwife refered to him "a lazy sucker."
    We took him in again on Tuesday the 20th and he only weighed 6.8! down from his birth weight of 8.5. he was also jaundiced by this point. my midwife had me obtain an sns and put us on a strict 2oz every 2 hours of either pumped milk or formula and of course continue to BF him in between. If he didn't finish all 2 oz in the SNS we were to syringe it in his mouth. We took him back that Thursday the 22nd and he had gained 5oz in 2 days...up to 6.13 which was promising. i also needed to pump to get my supply back up since it dipped so much in the first week.

    we continued to BF and SNS bascially 2oz every 2 hours (longer stretches at night thank goodness) for the next 2 weeks to the best of our ability.


    so now i am BF him as often and as long as he wants and still giving him the SNS maybe 1-2 times a day if he is still fussy and unsatisfied after nursing him. I went to a LLL meeting and had a leader watch us nurse. She said he is doing great and has a good latch and suspects i may have a low supply because he never ends a feeding unless he falls asleep or he may nurse for hours LITERALLY with a few short naps in between.
    His diaper output is great and he is gaining weight...slowly but surely.

    I feel like he is not getting enough milk as he has yet to end a feeding himself. he doens't actively suck/swallow for very long~maybe 5-10 minutes.

    if he does happen to spit my nipple out he cries as soon as he realizes its out. Or he may fall asleep while feeding in which case when he wakes up he wants to feed again.

    He never seems satisfied (as he does after an SNS) when i try to just BF him! it's so frustrating~i just want to nurse my baby exclusively before i have to return to work next month (fortunately only part-time)

    I realize he may just be comfort nursing or using me as a pacifier but how am i supposed to know the difference or if he is still hungry.

    i feel like i have been battling supply issues from the beginning since nursing got off to such a rough start.

    right now i BF as often and as long as he wants. after a feeding i usually try and pump to stimulate more milk production. i also wake up in the night to pump as my babe sleeps through and i need to start making a supply for him when i go back to work. i can pump maybe 1.5-2 oz on each side (ONLY in the middle of the night) after a feeding it might only be an oz total which i would think is good because it means he is getting most the milk? i am using a medala lactina and have it on the highest setting!!!!

    i am also taking fenugreek and blessed thisitle 3-3X times a day...(smelling like syrup!) and eating oatmeal (even though i don't like it) drinking plenty of fluids, taking no medications. I have read just about everything on increasing my supply or reasons for a low supply and feel like i am doing everything and it's still not helping. i have been nursing on demand as well.

    He will be 6 weeks Friday and i was so looking forward to that 'magical' 6 week mark when BF is supposed to get easier but i am still struggling.

    i guess i am just looking for some encouragement that this is normal? or suggestions on what to do if it's not

    it's so frustrating not knowing ANYTHING about being a mom or what 'normal' newborn behavior (yes, i know every baby is different)

    my main goal is to be able to satisfy him by exclusively nursing!!!

    any suggestions, encouragement, empathy or pity (haha) is welcome.

    thanks in advance and sorry for the novel! just trying to omit having to go back and forth answering questions.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    It sounds like you are doing everything right. Even by having a home birth. I'll tell you this...most moms do not get a good start in e hospital with breastfeeding....instead they are often undermined by really bad information. So don't think that you would be doing better if you had had a hospital birth. To the contrary, you would probably have a worse time. They wouldn't have suggested an SNS. They would have most likely shoved formula on you.

    Is there anyway you can nurse baby without the SNS and do a before and after weight to see what he is getting frm you without the supplement? I say this because pumping is NOT a good indicator of output by mom.

    Wanting to be on the breast all the time is normal IF baby is able to get enough milk, as evidenced by wets, poops and weight gain. What you post makes me wonder a bit.

    Any sign of a tongue tie or other reason for difficulty transferring milk?

    Did you ever get engorged?

    What happens if you use breast compressions while you are nursing? Does he wake up and nurse more?

    Hang in there!
    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!

  3. #3

    Default Re: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    thanks for the advice!

    there is no tongue tie or any other 'good' reason why we are struggling which i think makes it so much more frustrating!

    i started pumping with the medala lactina last thursday (before that is was a manual avent isis and before that was an AWFUL even flo that literally ripped off all the skin around my areolas) i was expecting an increase in supply from using this pump in about 24-48 hours but i have also read that it could take a week or that the longer the supply was down the longer it may take to build up? is that true?

    i was engorged when my milk first came in (felt like i had a boob job when i woke up that morning!) but i because he didn't nurse well after my milk came in my supply dropped.

    i feel like breast compressions don't help much~i have watched several videos though.

    the only time i can seemingly satisfy him is the first feeding in the morning when he wakes up. that is when i feel the most full but even then he doesn't pull because he is full he usually just falls asleep and doesn't fuss if i move him.

    i would have to obtain a scale and then we him before and after a feeding to see measure how much he is getting correct?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    I personally feel that it takes like a week to really see any change with a pump. It is so less effective than a baby that it takes longer to get your supply in.

    For the weight check, your best bet is an IBCLC. Some local LLL groups have the super sensitive scale needed.
    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!

  5. #5

    Default Re: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    At this point, do you just think baby is hungry due to his behavior or is he still not gaining? I am confused about that. Many moms mistake normal baby fussyness for hunger or need to comfort nurse. As long as baby is gaining, it really does not matter if he is nursing for food or comfort, both are biologically an integral key factor when breastfeeding. Normally, a baby gets both comfort and food everytime he nurses. As long as baby is gaining, if the baby is falling asleep at the breast, that is a normal way to end a session.

    How much you pump gives you very limited info. Many moms are unable to produce for the pump what they would for baby. Plus you're nursing basically around the clock, right? so it would make sense to only get an ounce or two when you pump, if that.

    I think at this point it may be time to hire a professional IBCLC. You have been doing amazingly well, really trying hard, and if you called me I would suggest that you have someone with clinical training take a look at the situation and advise you.

    Get referals from your local LLL or midwife for an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (or a highly recommended LC who is not a IBCLC is OK) in your area. I usually suggest moms talk to two or three prior to hiring, you want someone you feel confident in and comfortable with. You can also find IBCLC's here: http://www.ilca.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=1

    The magical 6 week marker for getting over the breastfeedign hump is for the majority of moms who do not have big breastfeeding issues. When you have great struggles with supply and/or latch it can take a bit longer.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; January 17th, 2012 at 10:30 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    he is gaining and is back at birth weight if not more by now. but then again i have not yet been able to exclusively breastfeed him either without supplementing with the SNS or bottle. I guess i am only inferring that he is still hungry after nursing because he behaves differently after i give him a 2oz SNS or bottle. He acts content and is not fussy whereas after breastfeeding him he is always still fussy unless he is asleep. i am just assuming this means he is still hungry??

    i will look into an IBCLC but because we live in a very rural area the closet ones are an hour away.

    Thanks for the advice

  7. #7

    Default Re: HELP! Frustrated First Time Mom

    If seeing an IBCLC is too difficult, perhaps you can work with your pediatrician on weaning baby off the supplements. Sometimes the hardest part of that process is mom having confidence she is now making enough for baby. If you can have regular (not daily, that is too often) but perhaps weekly weight checks, that may help. Also watch babies output as you slowly cut back on the supplemental feedings.

    Here is one suggested method of weaning off supplements. Every situation is a bit different, and I do suggest, if it is possible, you getting some advice from a IBCLC or a breastfeeding knowledgable pediatrician while doing this. http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/decrease-formula.html

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