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Thread: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG POST

  1. #1

    Default I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG POST

    I'll start by saying that I feel that the whole breastfeeding experience is slipping away from me and it breaks my heart.

    I posted for the first time on here a few weeks ago with quite a list of issues and was hoping I wouldn't have to post anymore -- no such luck! I had some difficult issues from the beginning -- latching, recurrent plugged ducts, poor weight gain. After posting my last thread, I worked really really hard at improving my baby's latch ... and things did get better. She is 9 weeks now. Because I was worried about her weight gain (it was on the low end and some weeks not acceptable) and because she sometimes doesn't seem satisfied in the evenings, I also started supplementing twice in the evening after feedings with 2 oz each time (so total of 4 oz extra each day). Things seemed to be getting better. Now, with that said, I feel I should also mention that my doctor prescribed Reglan to help with my milk supply -- I felt it had decreased due to my baby's ineffective latch and issue with snoozing at the boob too much. I definitely saw an increase in my milk supply. But, I am NOT considering taking it again because I have since discovered all of the risks associated with it. I definitely experienced anxiety while on it.

    So here is the breakdown of her weight gain during the past few weeks (when things improved):
    Week before starting the extra 4 oz. supplement: 3 to 4 ounce gain in one week
    Week before taking Reglan -- 6 ounce gain in one week
    After first week of taking Reglan -- 9 to 10 ounce gain in one week
    After second week of taking Reglan -- 7 ounce gain

    That brings me to when the problems started up again. A few things happened over the course of a few days and I would love to know what people think and whether any of them could be the issue with a sudden drop in my baby's weight. First, my little girl suddenly decided to sleep longer at night -- around 7 to 7 1/2 hours. Second, because of the longer interval at night, my plugged ducts came back (and big time!). And, third, my baby (and I) were diagnosed with thrush. I decided to weigh my baby yesterday because I just felt that she wasn't getting as much during sessions and sensed that my milk had decreased after getting those really bad plugged ducts. I felt (and feel) like I'm barely making any milk. For example, before she slept through the night and the plugged ducts came back, I was pretty full in the middle of the night and first thing in the morning and my baby would get in two really good nursing sessions. Now, she seems frustrated even when she nurses in the morning. Well, sure enough, from Monday to Friday she had lost about 1/2 to 1 ounce. Weighed her again today and more loss -- total of about 2 1/2 ounces since Monday.

    I am so upset over this I am in tears. I thought that we had finally gotten to a decent routine -- not perfect, but good given all of our problems! And, to top it off, my supply of frozen BM is gone and I had to introduce formula tonight for the first time. I am SO upset (which my husband just doesn't get at all). Honestly, all of this makes me feel like a failure. I know that BM is the BEST thing for my baby and the only one that can give it to her is me ... and I can't do that all of sudden! She hasn't lost weight since being in the hospital! What is going on?!?

    I am also going back to work full time in three weeks and am freaking out because my milk supply is already disappearing! Like I said at the beginning of this post, I feel that the whole breastfeeding experience is slipping away from me and it breaks my heart. Sorry this post is so long but I just need someone to listen. And any advice would be appreciated. I am at a loss. Should I start pumping again? And only during the times I'll be able to breastfeed her or pump while at work? I want this to work so bad! I know I'll have to supplement with formula when I go back to work but I at least still want to be able to breastfeed!! HELP!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    10,440

    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Well. I do nt want to sound mean, but supplementing in the evenings was awful for your supply. What she was doing was cluster feeding, an instinctual response to increase your milk naturally. Instead of being helpful, giving bottles in shot you in the foot, knocked her out so she slept linger and so you got plugs again which decreased your supply.

    Beat thing to do....put the supplements away, take a nursing vacation, and nurse. You have three weeks to get your supply back. A baby can do it quickly and much better than any pump. But if she won't nurse, sneak a pumping session in. Or pump one side and nurse the other. Switch back and forth when she fusses, over and over and over. You may need to slowly back away from supplements, but you can do this.

    When you go back to work, plan to pump a lot. Plan on every 2-3 hours. Get a hands free bra and cover. What pump do you have? You may not need to supplement when you work It's hard, but many of us have done it and can help you.
    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!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Yes pump more espicially if you plan on going back to work in 3 weeks. Don't let your little one sleep so long at night. Wake her up by 4 hours and offer the breast. And I agree to do away with the supplements at night. The best way to get your supply up is to nurse. Pumping helps your supply too. Are her diapers ok? If she is having enough wet and dirty diapers I wouldn't worry too much about the weight gain/loss daily. Weigh her once a week. You are doing such an amazing job already, try to be positive and not stress so much. Stress can also be bad for your supply. Celebrate the positives, like when she gains weight in a weeks time. Or when she has a really good nursing session. Just nurse as much as you can with the best latch you can get. 9 weeks is still early on and you and her are still learning as you go. Your passion and determination are inspiring and will most likely get you the results you want.
    09-28-2011 VB (41 Weeks 1 Day) Breastfeeding 12 months & counting.

  4. #4

    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Agree with pps. A mothers milk supply does not simply slip away, never to return, for no reason. In the vast majority of low milk supply cases, milk production reduces for a reason and goes up for a reason. It reduces because baby is not nursing frequently or well enough, and goes up when baby is encouraged/allowed to nurse frequently and well enough. I don't know why you were on Reglan or if you have an organic barrier to making "enough" milk, but 3 weeks is enough time to get your milk supply into the best shape it can be for your return to work.

    If you do need a galactagogue, have you looked into herbal options?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
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    New York
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    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    dear Mamma,
    Big hugs from across the world wide web!
    I hear your heart ache.
    Goodness knows how upsetting it is when your baby loses weight.
    You are weighing her yourself, at home , not at the doctor's office?
    Please don't rely on a home scale for accurate info.
    And thrush is painful itchy and annoying as hell, but it is not a life threatening condition. It's athletes foot and jock itch of the nipple. But go to the doctor and get the appropriate medication meant for a breastfeeding mother.
    I know you are feeling the pressure to get breastfeeding under control and manageable so that you can go back to work without this added stress.
    At a La Leche league meeting I attended a few months ago, one mother threw in the towel and quit her job because she felt sick being away from her baby.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  6. #6

    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Yes, I tried taking fenugreek but I didn't really see much of an improvement. As for the Reglan, my doctor prescribed it (not my IBCLC). My doctor never even mentioned the risk involved with taking it, but when I told my IBCLC that I was taking it she informed me about the depression/anxiety. I don't think she agreed with me needing to take it either.

    Also, I didn't want to start the supplements in the evening because I was worried it would hurt my supply. And when I say evening, I'm referring to the approximate 5:00 and 7:00 feedings. My little girl usually doesn't go to sleep until 10:30 or 11:00, sometimes later. I didn't give them to her before the feedings right before she went to bed for the night, but I guess it doesn't matter when you give them. And I didn't think she was cluster feeding, but maybe she still was. She did cluster feed A LOT the first month (and I would let her nurse sometimes for 4 hours straight in the evenings) so I didn't think what she was doing now was cluster feeding. I feel so clueless right now. I also didn't just nurse for a few minutes and then give her a supplement. I would nurse for at least 30 mintues and then do it. She just isn't a real good nurser. Sleeps a lot. I try to switch back and forth multiple times, move her arm around, blow on her face lightly, change her diaper even at certain sessions, but she still nods off. I guess other people's comments got the best of me and I started giving her the supplements, meaning my husband getting upset with me for not making sure she has enough to eat. He sometimes would give me this look (and make comments) like I was harming our baby for being stubborn and not supplementing. This whole experience has been so stressful and I think that also might be affecting my milk supply.

    I also feel like I've been given so much conflicting advice. Some say don't wake her up, let her sleep. Others say supplement to maintain weight until supply increases. I just want what is best for her. As for her diapers, she was pooping three to four times a day but in the last week or so that decreased to just once a day. That alarmed me as well, but my dr said that happens sometimes when babies get a little older (2 to 3 months). I don't know if that is true or not. I think her wet diapers are ok. I will start keeping better count of them. Sometimes I lost count over the course of the day -- there is a lot going on now between the thrush treatments for both of us and massaging my plugged ducts and trying to pump again. I'm a little overwhelmed!

    I appreciate the recommendations and comments, although I don't know if I will be able to implement all of them -- particularly the advice re pumping at work. I have a VERY demanding job and will be lucky to get to pump twice throughout the day. I am going to try very hard to do so but I know the men I work with and the type of job I have, and it's going to be challenging to say the least. And I am renting the hospital pump--Symphony. So shouldn't be any issues with the pump. I struggle, though, with pumping. I massage during pumping sessions and just don't get much -- even less now! I just tried pumping this morning and got next to nothing!

    I guess I will just try to do the best I can with increasing my milk, but it was a challenge for me to do in the beginning because my baby sleeps so much while nursing. SHe also gets frustrated at the breast and starts to thrash and smack at me. She's quite sassy at times.

    So should I back off of the supplements altogether? I have to be honest that I'm scared to do that because of her sudden weight loss. I guess I better listen to people who know better than me! I just know this is going to cause a fight with my husband. He wants to start supplementing MORE. And when she had the weight loss, he had this "I told you so" attitude, like I should have been supplementing all along. He says he is supportive of BF, but obviously he isn't. He even said the other day that he thinks we should just start giving her all formula because BF isn't working. He said "it just doesn't work for everybody. You need to accept that." I know this isn't a thread about husbands but his lack of support and desire to supplement more is making this much harder.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    early on, one of the principals i heard at a La Leche league meeting was breastfeeding was enhanced and the nursing coupled sustained by the loving support, help and companionship of the baby's father.
    your DH loves the baby and he is worried and scared too. Your frazzled, he's unable to make this all better.. and men like to solve problems.
    An infant that continues to loose weight, back in the olden days, an auntie or neighbor who had a copious milk supply would nurse the baby, that was the "supplement" available.
    By the way thrashing and smacking are instinctual behaviors meant to stimulate mom's milk supply. So kudos to your LO. she is doing what nature pre-wired her to do.
    still, it is helpful to try and aim for nursing her 10-12 times per day.
    DD#1 July 1986 VB
    DD#2 April 1988 c/sec
    DS#3 April 1990 VBAC
    DS#4 June 1993 VB
    and suprise!
    DD#5 April 2001 c/sec
    BTDT scars and stretchmarks,: wrinkles and grey hair

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Was baby's tongue tie snipped adequately? If not, that could be why she isn't nursing well.

    Twice a day pumping won't be enough, even with a Symphony. Try car pumping on the way to work after dropping baby off.

    And to your DH, as he is not being supportive.

    And yes, babies often go to pooping just once or twice a day in their first 3 months.
    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!

  9. #9
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    May 2006
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    19,913

    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    And yes, babies often go to pooping just once or twice a day in their first 3 months.
    Or even less frequently. After 6 weeks, some breastfed babies will poop just once a week or so. It's usually a diaper-buster when it does emerge, though!

    I'm sorry your husband is being such a . Do you think someone might be feeding him misinformation? That "it doesn't work for everyone" thing sounds like the sort of thing a woman- likely one who didn't successfully breastfeed- would say.

    I'm also sorry that you're struggling so hard. I think the PPs gave good advice about taking a nursing vacation. I also think that waking your baby during that very long 7 hour sleep stretch might be a good idea- one more feeding per day can make a big difference in terms of calorie intake, when you're a tiny baby! I know this is discouraging and stressful, and that you face a return to work in the near future. So I just want to add that even if you do discover that after you return to work you can't pump enough milk for your baby's total daily needs, please don't feel like that means you must stop nursing! Lots of moms must or choose to combination feed (breastmilk and formula), and there are health benefits to both you and your baby from even a small amount of breastmilk.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Re: I feel like breastfeeding is slipping away- help! (LONG

    Any way we can help you figure out how to pump at your job? You mention it's "VERY" demanding. Several moms here have demanding jobs and have successfully pumped, ER nurse, vet, military, construction worker, etc. let us know about the job and your commute if youd like input on that.
    Mommy to Maxwell 10-9-07 weaned with love (a party and a remote control monster truck) on his 4th birthday
    My Boy 3-16-10
    And my sweet pea Sam 2-12-11

    Watch Your Language

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