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Thread: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

  1. #1

    Angry PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    My baby girl was born last Monday, 5/21. She weighed 7lb 10oz. She was a repeat C-section at 39 weeks. I nursed her about 2 hours after she was born and nursed, nursed, nursed early on. I took more milk special formula the day of her birth because I wanted my milk to come in quickly (I've been taking it daily since). She lost down to 6lb 12oz so the doctor made her stay in until she stopped losing. Once my milk came in on Day 3, her weight started going up so we got to go home!!

    She sucks, she seems satisfied, she never cries. She burps big burps and is having appropriate wet and dry diapers (5+ poops a day). However, she went to the doctor on Tuesday and was just 7lb. We had her weighed again today and she's STILL just 7lb.

    I've been:
    -Nursing on demand or at 2 hours, whichever comes first (she's sleepy) through the day; 3 hours at night
    -Pumping after every nursing session
    -Mother's milk tea
    -More milk special formula
    -Nursing cookies

    What can I do? I know if she's not back to her birthweight by Monday that our pediatrician will insist we started supplementing with formula; I don't like that she's not gaining at all. I don't understand because she SEEMS so content and is having wet and dry diapers and is sucking and swallowing. Her latch seems good.

    Our nearest lactation consultant is 2.5 hours away--would it be worth it to spend an entire day driving to see one? Should I just give up? I'm just devastated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    First of all, please don't just give up. Your issues are almost certainly fixable, given time and the right assistance. If you have to supplement for a while, or even forever, that's not so bad- breastfeeding doesn't have to be all or nothing! And plenty of us have had to supplement at some point, and have eventually been able to ditch the supplements and just nurse.

    There's a lot of good news in your post. Your baby did gain back to 7 lbs, her diaper output is age-appropriate, and right now she seems to be maintaining her weight. Maintaining weight is a lot better than losing it!

    Questions for you:
    - Has baby always been weighed in the nude, on the same scale? At this age, discrepancies between scales or the presence/absence of a diaper can mean a lot.
    - How long did you have IV fluids with your c-section? Just a few hours before baby was born, or for many hours?
    - What do baby's poops look like? Give us a graphic description! Are they the color of cheap hotdog mustard, or are they more green or brown?
    - How does nursing feel? Is it comfortable, or are you in pain when baby is feeding?
    - Is baby very sleepy? Does she doze off rapidly at the breast?
    - Is baby jaundiced at all?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    middle of IA

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    Hi mama,


    Quick question - Are all the weights on the same scale, naked?
    Last edited by @llli*auderey; May 31st, 2012 at 02:13 PM. Reason: great minds think alike
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

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

  4. #4

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    Thanks for the reply. It's SO nice to know someone's out there!! I have no support here and I went to the local WIC office and the nurse said "I don't know--we can give you formula?!" No one is here to support me and I'm just so sad that I feel like I'm doing something wrong.

    - She's always been weighed nude, but the last 3 days she's been weighed on 3 different scales (all said 7lbs).
    - I have IV fluids 2 hours before my C-section.
    - Poop is a very liquidy, yellow-brown color. Not as yellow as French's mustard, no green inside. More of a yellow/brown color. There's no substance but I'd say it's got some spots that are thick like honey.
    - I initially hurt when she latches on (a toe-curling pain) but once she's latched it feels just fine.
    - Baby is VERY sleepy. She never cries. She sleeps ALL the time. She always falls asleep on the breast. We try to keep her up with wet washcloths, changing her diaper, leaving the lights on, etc.
    - Absolutely no jaundice.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    New York

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    congratulations on the birth of your daughter. you are doing great! Ok, all babies lose weight at first. and many doctors give moms 14 days to get the baby back up to birth weight.
    You do not need to pump after each nursing session, let the baby stimulate your supply. if she is stooling every day and wetting plenty of diapers and doing all her sucking on the breast( no pacifiers), no bottles of anything as long as she is nursing 10-12 times per 24 hours your milk supply should be sufficient.
    Did you nurse your other child?
    the mature milk does not come in until day 10 or so, so its not uncommon that your infant needs to nurse around the clock until the mature milk comes in.
    Started my family in 1986
    Finally done in 2001

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    Thanks for answering those questions! Based on your answers, here's what I am thinking:
    - 3 different scales is not what you want at this age. A few oz discrepancy between scales can mean the difference between apparent healthy weight gain and not. So make a point of it with the pediatrician, the next time you go in. You want the exact same scale as last time.
    - You only had 2 hours of IV fluids, which means your baby's birth weight was probably not artificially inflated by fluid bloat. That's good data to have. Occasionally a baby will be born so full of fluid weight that neonatal weight loss looks much more severe than it is, and then it's much harder to determine if the weight loss is problematic.
    - Yellow-brown poop that is sort of watery, maybe a little "yogurt-y" in consistency- not bad! Yellow and curdy is good, and is a sign that baby is getting enough milk. If the poop trends more towards green, brown, or watery, that can be a sign of poor milk intake.
    - Toe-curling pain can indicate a latch problem, but when the pain only lasts for the first few seconds the problem is generally not severe. Follow-up question: when baby comes off the breast, how would you describe the nipple shape? Symmetrical, like a pencil eraser, or asymmetrical/creased/wedged/ridged/like a new lipstick?
    - Sleepy baby: I think this is likely to be the source of baby's slow weight gain. Sleepy babies sometimes eat enough to maintain themselves, but not enough to grow.
    - No jaundice: excellent!

    Tips on waking a sleepy baby:
    - dim the lights (new babies often close their eyes in response to bright light)
    - cool damp washrag against soles of baby's feet or against the grain of her hair
    - keep a fan blowing in the room where you are nursing
    - dress baby lightly or strip down to diaper
    - wake baby frequently
    - switch nursing: when suckling slows and baby seems to be drifting off, take her off the breast, burp her, change her diaper, and switch her to the other breast. Repeat the process until baby will no longer wake.

    I think you are wise to pump in addition to nursing right now. If baby does require a supplement, you can use your own milk rather than formula, and pumping will help you maintain a good supply for the day when your baby wakes up enough to no longer require a supplement (if she needs one at all). Also, a little extra volume right now will make the milk easier for baby to transfer.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    texaslady22, I feel for you! I can imagine how hard you must be working - great job. I see you have already gotten great info from the other moms on this thread (and mommal, you are a ROCK STAR) but wanted to add my own experience. We had similar issues in the beginning and it was so stressful. To avoid repeating myself too much, check out my answer on another recent thread:


    Also I would say that my only regret about going to an IBCLC was not going SOONER. We waited until our LO was about 3 weeks having gone through huge stresses and guilt regarding slow weight gain, pressure from the pediatrician (we have since switched to another in the practice, who we have better chemistry with), and generally freaking out because we wanted our baby to be healthy and were scared to make a "wrong" move. Maybe I shouldn't speak for my DH; he was actually pretty calm about the whole thing and knew it would work out. I've always been more of the worrier.

    There are steps available to take before formula supplementation, which according to many resources could undermine an establishing supply. One thing that worked for us was french-tube syringe supplementation at the breast with my own pumped milk. Also my LO kept falling asleep at the breast, too, so we tried "switch nursing" - letting him nurse for 5 min on each side to keep him more awake. Just going back and forth, back and forth, ~5 mins each side until he seemed to be done. We also rented a baby scale from a local hospital and used it to weigh him before and after a feeding - that way WE controlled the consistency of the scale, and we could log the info and bring it in to the pediatrician. All these steps we took were with the help and consultation of our LC.

    Letting your ped know you are taking additional steps to increase your baby's weight may put the formula-pressure at bay if you are trying to avoid that road. It might help for them to see how committed you are to keeping baby's weight going up if you go in with a plan of your next steps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Anderson, SC

    Default Re: PLEASE help! Nursing my newborn

    awwwhh Congrats!!!

    This is all so new eh??

    I was in your shoes about 5 weeks ago. My newborn wouldn't latch and i was exclusively pumping and cup/bottle feed. This lead to a downward spiral of nipple confusion,sore breast/nipples, refusal of bottles and breast, feeding therapy, help from the LC, tears, frustration, and breakdowns. I say all of this to say---YOU CAN DO THIS! you are doing a great job.

    Have you tried maybe feeding her every hour and a half? Do you think she will do that? The peditrician had me pump and supplement with my sweet Bella. I used 2 oz of breastmilk and 1/2 tsp of powdered formula. And that packed the weight on her. She went from 6 pounds 6 ounces and by the end of that week Bella was 6 pounds 13.5 ounces. Her birthweight was 6:14. I did that and when she reached her weight I only did it for a few more days to "bulk" her up a bit.

    My husband got me a baby scale from ebay and I weighed her before and after feeding. I did some simple conversions and i was able to figure out how much she was getting from me. This eased my nerves. Now this baby is a massive...lol 8 pounds and 6 ounces at 5 weeks. Just relax and know you are doing everything you can as a mom to feed your child. I felt like I was failing her. Don't feel like that. You are doing everything you could do. I too, wish I would have seen my LC earlier. It would have made my weeks easier.

    I hope this stuff helps.

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