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Thread: Help/advice desperately needed

  1. #1

    Default Help/advice desperately needed

    I really need some help and advice from people who understand breastfeeding so much more than me, it is a bit of a long one because I feel I am having so many issues but I'll keep it as brief as I can.
    My baby girl is 5 days old, the first 2 days I was in the hospital as we could not get feeding established, I could get her latched on but I wasn't producing anything at all, they put me on the electric pump and that wasn't producing anything but it was mainly to help get a flow going. I was worried at how unsettled she was and that she wasn't getting anything to eat so I asked if I could top her up with some formula but still persevere with the breast as well. I did this and she seemed a lot more settled. I went home on day 3 with the plan that I put her to the breast when she's hungry, let her feed on whatever she can get then if she's still showing hunger signs after that then top her up with some formula. My milk has now come in and she's spending a lot more time on the breast but still doesn't seem satisfiedand then needs topping up with formula. I have been writing down when she's been feeding, how long on each breast and how much formula etc... but I just feel like it's not working. For example this morning she spent 2 hours on my breasts - 30 mins alternating between each breast, she pulled herself off and then wouldn't settle, she was crying and making the mouth movements she makes when she's hungry so after 30 mins we gave her some formula and she drank 45 mls, that was 30 mins ago when she had the formula and she's now doing the whole mouth open tongue sticking out thing so what do I do, do I put her back on my very sore breasts or give her a bit more formula?
    I feel like I'm giving in too easily when I give her the formula but surely she wouldn't take it if she was getting plenty from my breast.
    I'm so confused and would really appreciate any help as I really want this to work.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Help/advice desperately needed

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby.

    I don't want this to come off as critical, but I'm pretty sure the thing that is derailing breastfeeding for you is the formula supplements. You're not alone in not having milk in the first couple of days after birth. Unless a mom has nursed a previous child through pregnancy and maintained a milk supply, she will not have mature milk in the first 1-5 days after birth. Instead, she will produce small quantities of a clear yellow protein-rich substance called colostrum. Colostrum is all a baby needs in the first few days after birth because a newborn tummy is so tiny, and as long as the baby is passing her meconium you know she is getting colostrum and you don't need to supplement with formula.

    Since you've been supplementing with a bottle since very early on, your baby has probably come to expect one at the conclusion of every feeding. That's the most probable explanation for her giving you hunger cues at the end of a feeding. Thr best thing you can do in that situation is to shelve the bottles and continue to put the baby on the breast, watching diaper output to ascertain whether or not she is getting enough. However, you mention that you are "very sore" and in some instances sore nipples indicate that the baby's latch is poor enough that she is having trouble transferring enough milk, which can lead her fussy after nursing. I strongly suggest you go to see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for some hands-on help and evaluation of your baby's latch and her tongue (since tongue-tie can cause latching difficulties). It might be expensive, but it is going to be much, much cheaper than a year's supply of formula.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Help/advice desperately needed

    where i live, we have a lactation consultant at my county's health department. if you have wic, they are real big on breastfeeding. and if this is your first baby, sore breast/nipples are pretty common the first few days of breastfeeding. and if baby does have a good latch it takes a bit of time to get used to the feeling. but if it is that baby
    latched properly, getting some help would be best for you and baby if you want a
    successful nursing experience. keep at it! the only way you know if you can do it, is if you keep trying. the first few day/weeks are an adjustment for you and baby!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006

    Default Re: Help/advice desperately needed

    Mama, put the formula down, go get in bed and nurse, nurse nurse.

    All newborn babies nurse all the time. That is how they get your supply up.

    Watch wets and poops.

    But, since you are very sore, you may need help from an IBCLC. There are many reasons for soreness, ranging from what I call normal (I myself get very sore for the first week, and it's simply because I have larger nipples, nursing a little 10 lb baby, and I have sensitive skin) to things like tongue tie or thrush. And it's very difficult to distinguish between the various causes without being able to see what is going on.

    The cost of an IBCLC is less than you will spend if you keep on supplementing with formula.
    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
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: Help/advice desperately needed

    also remember that bottles "force-feed" - if the baby has a bottle, the baby HAS to drink what's in it - so the fact that she's eating what you give her in the bottle does NOT necessarily mean that she's still hungry, or THAT hungry.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Help/advice desperately needed

    All great ideas above. This is a trap many moms fall into, thinking they don't "make any' milk in the early days or 'make enough' milk, or that baby always 'seems hungry' -these concerns are so often due to unrealistic expectations rather than a real issues with milk supply, which is actually quite rare (unless milk supply is undermined by not nursing enough.) Based on your story, my guess is not only do you not need to supplement now, you never needed to supplement-as far as not 'getting anything' when you pumped early on-lactation experts now recommend hand expression over pumps for expressing colostrum if baby can not nurse in the first couple of days. And even with hand expression the amount of colostrum you get is very small, as it is designed to be.

    You will harm your milk supply if you continue to supplement. If it turns out baby actually needs supplements, arrange to get a good pump and supplement with your own breastmilk, the pumping will also keep your supply appropriate while you figure out the latch issues.

    Offer to nurse at (or even before) the earliest signs of hunger. Once baby is fussy or crying, it can make latching more difficult.

    Your biggest hurdle may be believing in & trusting your baby and your body. Baby wanting to nurse a ton is NORMAL. Fussyness and being unsettled is normal-think about what dramatic changes just occurred in baby’s life! You would feel unsettled too. Baby needs comfort as well as food and both come at the breast. This will not be forever, just these early weeks. And just as your body served you and baby so well though pregnancy and birth, breastfeeding is the next normal step. You can do this!

    What to expect in the early days: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Some positioing ideas (may help with nipple soreness-as pps suggest, if you cannot get latch comfortable on your own, seek help asap.)
    general positioning tips: http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html
    laid back: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf
    and www.biologicalnurturing.com

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