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Thread: Frustration & about to give up BF

  1. #1

    Default Frustration & about to give up BF

    My little girl was born at 37 weeks via c-section on January 27th. She was in the hospital until Feb. 5 because of feeding issues. While I was in the hospital we would attempt breast feeding, follow with a bottle of expressed breast milk and then I would pump to provide the bottle for the next feeding. The docs gave her a feeding tube and we used it when she would give up on the bottle which was quite often. Now we are home and I am supposed to be exclusively breast feeding. I worry that she is not eating enough and she is eating about every 1 1/2 to 2 hours. But her weight gain has been fine so far. She was born at 6 lb. 9oz. and now at just over three weeks is 7 lb. 6 oz. I think I'm just stressed from the lack of sleep and worry that she is not really eating as I am producing so much milk after feedings. Also I am concerned that I am overproducing milk. After breastfeeding, I still manage to pump 5-6 ounces. Is there anything I can do to slow down production without stopping it? What can I do with all the extra milk in my freezer? How long can I store it? And should I be rotating it into the feedings? Does this get easier? Because right now I'm about to throw in the towel. I'm very frustrated and don't know what to do or where to turn for help!! Any advice would be much appreciated.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    Mama it really doesn't sound like there is any problem. If your child is gaining weight and having enough wet and dirty diapers there is no problem. It IS all very overwhelming in the beginning. That is true. But that is no reason to throw in the towel in terms of your child's nutrition and health. You are still in the early stages and your body is still regulating. So you can store BM in the regular freezer for 3 months. And in a Deep Freeze for 6. So if you are only going to use your freezer than 3 months is your limit. And yes you should always be rotating your milk. Use the oldest milk first. Also know that it doesn't all have to go in the freezer. Fresh milk is good in the Fridge for up to 7 days and out at room temperature for up to 8 hours. So you can do less work if you leave milk out and use it fresh if you are doing a session a day where your partner feeds. Are you doing that yet? Has it been 4 weeks yet? At 5 weeks on I would pump one bottle a day at least and my DH would take the baby for 2hours every night. That break every day really helped me and it was a nice way for them to bond. Are you going back to work? If so you will really appreciate that freezer stash when you do.
    In short don't freak out. It sounds like everything is going fine. Your body WILL regulate and your supply will even out. And when it does you will probably panic and think you are losing your supply. But it's all supply and demand. So eventually your breast won't feel full or engorged and you won't even leak! So keep at it. It TOTALLY NORMAL for a newborn to feed as often as every hour. So your schedule sounds totally normal. She is getting enough and you are making more than enough. Just relax and accept that the 1st 6-12 weeks are most often spent in the house on the couch feeding. All day. Every day. That's normal. You and your LO are working on finding your groove as a dyad. It takes time. Embrace it. Spend the days just holding your LO. They grow so quickly. There is definitely a light at the end of the tunnel. It gets easier. Stay Focused Mama.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3

    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    I think I'm just stressed from the lack of sleep and worry that she is not really eating as I am producing so much milk after feedings. Also I am concerned that I am overproducing milk. After breastfeeding, I still manage to pump 5-6 ounces. Is there anything I can do to slow down production without stopping it?
    It sounds like not only are you making enough and baby is eating enough, you are able to pump extra milk! Moms with low supply would love to have this problem, trust me. But oversupply can cause its own issues so you are smart to think about that. My guess is all the pumping you did/are doing may indeed be giving you some oversupply. This is easily remedied.

    First, I am not sure if you are giving baby supplemental feedings still with your expressed milk? Or exclusively breastfeeding? Can you clarify that?

    For now I am going to assume baby is gaining well and having appropriate output just from nursing at the breast. This is as it should be, and if this is the case, there is no need to pump anymore. However, since your have so much extra production right now, you may want to wean yourself gradually off the pump. You can do this by pumping less often and, when you do pump, pump "just to comfort" -just until you don't feel so full. EDIT: DECREASING pumping will reduce your oversupply and you can stop pumping entirely, hopefully in just a few days. Once you are no longer pumping, I think you will feel like life is a bit more manageable. Pumping adds lots of extra work.

    Nurse frequently as you have been doing. A baby this age will typically nurse a minimum of 10-12 times a 24 hour day, and it can be VERY frequent, even a few times an hour, for part of the day, and then baby may take a longer sleep stretch here and there. This is called cluster feeding and it is normal. Frequent nursing keeps your milk abundant enough for baby without giving you oversupply and allows baby to get enough, even if some feedings are short.

    The last thing you need to worry about is the extra pumped milk you have in the freezer. Date it, store it appropriately, and you will have it there should you need it. You may not need it. That is OK. For many reasons, it’s way more important (and easier) to, when possible, give baby all their milk direct from the source than to use stored milk just because you have it.

    This article explains what is normal and expected in the early days with a breastfed baby. You can easily tell baby is getting enough by output (poops) and weight gain. So knowing that will help you feel more confident baby is getting enough, even if you make 'extra." http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing.html

    And here are the most recent recommendations on breast milk storage. If you have a separate freezer compartment with its own door, the recommendation is the milk can be stored for up to 3-6 months, and even longer, safely. http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...toringmilk.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 19th, 2012 at 11:55 AM. Reason: Ugh, said pumping will decrease oversupply when I meant decreasing pumping will reduce oversupply.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    Welcome! I am with the PP that it sounds like things are going really well, and that your major problem is one of confidence, or rather lack thereof. As long as baby is gaining weight normally and producing a normal number offer and poopy diapers, breastfeeding is going perfectly on the most fundamental level, and all you really need to do is to tweak the fine points. It sounds like you were really dedicated to pumping and you've landed yourself in an oversupply situation. But that is okay- oversupply can be managed without wrecking your supply. All you have to do is feed on demand- even if that means feeding every hour, as the PP mentioned- and stay away from the pump as much as possible. The longer milk sits unused, the more the body throttles back on supply. So if you can forgo the pump altogether, do. But if doing so makes you unbearably uncomfortable, you can pump or hand-express just enough to restore comfort. Your supply will still adjust downwards, just slightly more slowly than if you skipped pumping altogether.

    Is there any reason why you need to be pumping, like returning to work? If so, there are a ton of super-experienced mamas who can help you work pumping into your routine without causing a huge oversupply.

    Hang in there, mama! Nursing really does get easier as the baby grows. And we'll be here for you every step of the way.
    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: Frustration & about to give up BF

    with PP.

    This all sounds wonderful..you don't need to give up. You just need to slowly back down on pumping, and leaning to lay down while nnursing will help with the sleep
    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

    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    "First, I am not sure if you are giving baby supplemental feedings still with your expressed milk? Or exclusively breastfeeding? Can you clarify that? "

    We are just supposed to be exclusively breastfeeding. Its been a rough road. She's gained weight because of the supplemental feedings. We go in for a weight check at the end of this week to see if she's gaining on primarily the breast. I just feel like she's eating so much more often now. When we did the supplemental feedings, she was eating every 3 hours. Now its every 2 or less sometimes. The nurse practitioner told me to keep pumping to keep my supply up. I've been pumping every other or every third time because it is a lot of extra work and a lot of extra stress. I'm hoping this will slow my supply a little bit because even if I leave her on each side for 15 minutes, I still am able to pump 2-3 ounces on each side in under 10 minutes. that just seems like a lot to me. This is my first baby though and everything has felt like a hurdle and I'm so frustrated.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    I am not returning to work until later in March hopefully at the 6-8 week mark if I can manage it. We just had to pump in the hospital because Cordelia wouldn't latch on properly. She had trouble with the process of eating. She couldn't figure out how to suck, swallow, and breathe all at the same time. When we went home they told us to continue pumping so that we could supplement with expressed breast milk. At our checkup on Saturday (19th) the nurse practitioner said that we should move to exclusive breast feeding but continue to pump if I was uncomfortable. Most of the time after we feed, my breasts still feel full so its hard to just leave it for the next couple of hours until she feeds again. I have managed to ween myself down to pumping every other or every third time. But i'm leaking all over sometimes. All of the stress makes me never want to leave the house with the baby because I'm nervous about feeding in public and worried that I'll never know when she wants to eat if she's eating all the time.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    with PP.

    This all sounds wonderful..you don't need to give up. You just need to slowly back down on pumping, and leaning to lay down while nnursing will help with the sleep
    I tried the laying down thing this morning and she wouldn't stay latched on. She may still be a bit too small and inexperienced for that. I don't know.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    All of the stress makes me never want to leave the house with the baby because I'm nervous about feeding in public and worried that I'll never know when she wants to eat if she's eating all the time.
    Give it time, new mommyhood has a learning curve but very quickly you will learn your baby and also how to get things done (and what you can just let go.) This is not just about breastfeeding, all new moms find it difficult to go out and about with a new baby, they never know when baby will get hungry or fussy, everything takes at least 45 minutes longer to do, baby starts crying just as you get in the car or leave the house etc. This is normal for ALL new parents, nursing or no. The difference is nursing moms have the benefit of not having to worry about packing and toting bottles and cooler packs. Your baby's next meal is always with you, you will never have to rush home because you did not bring enough formula with you.

    Leaking all over is normal at this stage. Some moms are leakers and some are not. I was, and for a time in the early weeks when I went out I not only brought some extra nursing pads, I brought an extra shirt for me. I also wore darker patterns so leaks did not show much.

    Keep trying sidelying, it will come. There were good ideas in a couple of threads recently I will try to hunt them up. Some moms also find they can have baby on top of them and lean back on some pillows and snooze that way as baby nurses.

    As far as nursing in public, it gets easier the more often you do it. Many moms prefer to try it out when around other nursing moms at first. So you could go to a La Leche League meeting or any breastfeeding supportive new mommy get together. Hospitals often host such groups. Or you can practice at home with a friend or in front of a mirror. Practice and also watch other moms nurse in public, I think you will find it is less awkward and less revealing than you think it will be.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 19th, 2012 at 10:25 PM.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Frustration & about to give up BF

    Going back at the 6-8week point is actually really soon. So I would definitely not worry about any of your freezer stash. Because it will all be less than 3 months old by the time you go back. And it IS completely normal for an EBF child to eat every 1-3 hours. Everything in that range is normal and 3 is really on the outside of the range. So she is eating like a normal new born. I wasn't able to comfortably sidelye nurse until my baby was about 4months old.
    I think you are actually in a really good space. It sounds like you have been able to get her to the breast even though she had some challenges early on, your only supplementation has been your own, milk and she seems to be be eating well enough not to need those, and your supply is abundant enough that you are building a freezer stash for when you go back to work! That is all really really great news Mama! Just wrap your mind around the idea that it is completely normal to spend the majority of the day feeding at this age. It really is. It's the way nature intends it. It keeps mother and child together and at this age they do better if they are with their mother most of the time. You'll get to a place where you are comfortable leaving the house. But ya know what? At first it's usually only like once a week. So take your time. If you aren't there yet don't worry. You have only had her home for 2 weeks. I don't think I left the house for anything but the mandatory doctor appts until my baby was 5 weeks old. And even then it was with someone to help me. It was to go to a class on baby wearing. I didn't start going to Mommy and me Classes until he was 6weeks old. There is nothing wrong with staying at home and having your partner bring home take out while you get things figured out.

    Way too lazy for formula

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