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Thread: Newer than new...

  1. #1

    Unhappy Newer than new...

    Hi Everyone,

    Just got home today with my 2-day-old daughter, who I plan to breastfeed. It was a long, exhausing labor (induction lasting 22 hours), but I was pleased when it was followed by a relatively easy night, morning, and afternoon.

    Day 2 got harder. My little one latched on perfectly from the get go, and has a really strong sucking reflex. She seems to want to nurse (15 minutes) then starts to fall asleep (taking 15-30 minutes) then stays asleep (15-30 minutes) and wants to repeat all over again. By the time my husband or I get her down, I can only get in 15-45 minutes of rest. If after waking and rooting around for 5 min she can't find me, she wails to no end until she is back on the breast again.

    The lactation consultants reassured me she has a good grip and she is having enough wet and soiled diapers. Nevertheless I can't get any rest and its wearing on me quickly. At the nurse's advice, we started using a pacifier as well (no confusion btwn pacifier and breast, she still latches and sucks like a queen), and that can get her to rest a little longer. I've tried skin to skin contact and letting her hear my heartbeat. It helps her rest a bit, but I can't rest during that time.

    I know its normal to be frustrated and tired ... but I'm turning to the old pros out there for best practices, tips, and tricks to make it through the next few days until the breastmilk comes in and she can get a little more sated with each feeding. Anyone tried (for better or worse) supplementing with formula? Would it help her stay resting a little longer? For her sake, and mine?

    Thanks for reaching out to a newer than newbee!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    I am sure that others will jump in with ideas but my first though is nursing lying down. I have been able to add a lot more sleep bits by snoozing while the baby nurses. Sometimes the baby will fall asleep like that and you can roll away enough to sleep more. This is why many of us cosleep--we can simply roll over and, in the words of my esteemed father, flop out a tit. (Don't even ask where that came from. ) The other suggestion is baby wearing with a wrap or a sling.

    Skip supplementing. It might make things easier in the short term, but it often will damage your supply and in the long term breastfeeding is much easier--and healthier.

    You can do this. It sounds like you have a great start. The simple fact is that being a new mommy is HARD. And at the same time you are trying to heal from a process that takes a toll on your body no matter how well our bodies are designed to do it.

    While I am thinking about it, I personally would suggest sending your husband out to get a copy of The Happiest Baby on the Block. It has good suggestions about soothing the newborn baby as well as understanding the newborn baby. Please promise me, however, that if you are reading this book (or any other book about parenting, especially for babies) and it makes you upset, get rid of it. The Baby Whisperer did this to me with my first and I was miserable until my beloved mother told me to get rid of it.

    I have to go change a poopy diaper now, but hang in there. You can do this. Come back and ask any questions or just come back and hang out.
    I am Erin--happily married to the nerd of my dreams for 15 years
    High School Science Teacher
    Mother to: Thing 1 9/23/01, bf 15 mo, diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma 1/29/02, officially cancer free for ten years in August 2012
    Thing 2 6/6/05, bf 12 mo, obsessed with dynamite
    Glowworm 2/18/11, bf 15 months and counting

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    the first few days/weeks are very tough. i remember being so tired with my first that i was handing my dh dirty wipes thinking they were clean during a diaper change

    the baby needs to be close to you and nurse constantly right now. just imagine what her experience has been over the past two days. she is now outside of you and in a new world learning how to live. very scary. she needs to be with you. she is also telling your body to make the amount of milk she needs so she really needs to suck to build your supply and get comforted by being close to you.

    it is exhausting but you can do this.

    i the new edition of The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding btw

    also let your dh do EVERYTHING else, you just feed her. its hard to let go of other things but it is important. like pp said, lying nursing is GREAT once you get the hang of it. practice it but in the meantime set yourself up in a chair with snacks, water, a laptops, etc and just nurse. good luck
    Last edited by @llli*mtmama; January 28th, 2012 at 07:32 PM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    Milk's not in yet? Take away the pacifier. Yes, I know it's really difficult without it, and I know the LCs said it was okay. But when you're trying to bring your milk in, the two things that matter most are frequency and duration of suckling. If the pacifier is causing your baby to space out her feedings, and spend less time overall on the breast, you do. not. want. to. use. it. It will delay milk production. Honestly, the fact that your LCs assured you that pacifier use with a 2 day-old baby was okay makes me suspect that their LC credentials are minimal. When you're looking for a LC, you want one that is an IBCLC, not just a nurse who took a short course, which is what the LCs at many hospitals actually are.

    Formula has the same drawback as a pacifier, only more so. Not only does time sucking on the bottle mean less time sucking on the breast, delaying milk production, but supplementing with formula at his point risks your baby rejecting the breast. Often babies quickly learn that bottles produce easy meals, and realize that refusing to latch onto the breast or acting fussy gets them a bottle.

    Are you sleeping with your baby, or trying to put her down in a crib or bassinet? Co-sleeping is often the only way a new mama can get any sleep. I know there's a lot of negaitivity about co-sleeping from the medical profession, but it is possible to co-sleep safely and we'd love to talk about how, if you're interested.
    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!"

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    Nurse laying down.

    NO pacifier. You want and need her to suck at you -- tiringgp as this is -- to get that milk in. It should be coming in at 2 days, 3 at most. I get concerned when I hear or moms at 4, 5 days with no milk.

    We have all BTDT You will survive. And it will work out faster than you can imagine.
    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!

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    Rest when the baby rests. IN 30-60 minute intervals. Nurse with your feet up. Learn to nap. Supplementing this early is a huge mistake and will be detrimental to your supply. She is working to get your milk in and your supply established. She is working on instinct and this is exactly the way nature intended it. Let go of the idea of getting anything done in these early days EXCEPT feeding her. It should be your one and only goal when you wake up in the morning. Expect to spend your days on the couch or in your bed, nursing. Plan that and it will be less overwhelming.

    Way too lazy for formula

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    Ditch the paci.

    It's just exhausting. I agree with DJsmom. Plan to camp out in your PJs for the next few weeks. There's nothing wrong with it. We all did it. It's the best thing you can do.

    My one hint of advice is to make sure you take a shower and bathe everyday, mama. Take those 10 minutes for you to get clean and put on clean PJs. Wash your hair, stand under the hot water and do that for you. A lot of new mamas don't. It's one thing I did for myself everyday. And I'm glad for it. You deserve clean underwear! Hang in there. It gets better.

    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!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    Clean underwear I agree with. I wasn't trying to rush through my showers. I only took 2or 3 a week and I saved up for them. I was never in the shower for less than 30 minutes. It was a mini vacation of sorts. And I didn't feel bad about it because I didn't do it everyday.

    Way too lazy for formula

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    There is nothing harder than the transition to motherhood. Because even if your baby is resting, your brain will never sleep again. You have gotten great advice here. Forget life for a few weeks. Don't think about what you use to do, need to do or even want to do. Lay around with the baby on you or near you most of the time. Rest when she is resting. Find a way to get comfortable with her on the boob. Either by side nursing or laying back on the couch with her resting in the crook of your arm. For me, I just kept my son on my chest in a reclined position. Is it the best sleep? Nope. But when you're exhausted it is way better than nothing. And you learn to appreciate those quiet moments listening to your baby breath - when you forget that the rest of the world, including dishes, laundry and cooking exist. And I 100% agree with the shower. My son is 16 months old and high needs. If I can get that shower in for myself I feel like I got somewhere in the day. With my daughter, I learned how to do everything one handed and I worked from home so that wasn't easy. But it got me the time I needed and still gave her what she needed. Me.
    If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Newer than new...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Clean underwear I agree with. I wasn't trying to rush through my showers. I only took 2or 3 a week and I saved up for them. I was never in the shower for less than 30 minutes. It was a mini vacation of sorts. And I didn't feel bad about it because I didn't do it everyday.
    Ooh. I need a shower everyday or I just feel blah. But that is just me. It's the one thing I did for myself. I was bleeding worse than anything. I remember we had a hand-held shower head. My word that really me clean up down there with my horrible tear. Anyhoo, it's just one thing that really helped me. It's not for everybody, but for me, I need to shower or I feel like muck. If it works for you - take that 2 cents to heart. And if not - eh.

    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!

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