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.