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Thread: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Post 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    Hello --

    I am a first time mommy who gave birth to her son last Saturday (7/14.) My little guy was having a tough time with latching/sucking in the hospital. He didn't eat the first day, but seemed to have a routine using a nipple shield (I have small nipples that were not coming out.) Once we got, home - my breasts became engorged and it was impossible to feed. I thought he was getting some milk with the shield - but we found out that he lost too much weight. I had to move to breast pumping which I have been able to supply 80% of his needs - but it is getting really hard to be motivated to pump and then have to feed with a bottle. I have been emotional about the situation - but have found that when I sleep I am less upset or feel that I have failed.

    I am wondering if others have experienced this and found that they can still breastfeed after baby hasn't seen or used the breast for a period of time. I am planning on setting up time with a lactation consultant early next week - but needed some motivation before then. I would appreciate any help/advice on this. I am when feeding trying to skin to skin with his face and some part of my body (he loves being swaddled so i usually have him wrapped up.)

    Thank you in advance for helping a new mommy who really wants to breastfeed!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    Also -- my husband has been passionate about me not trying to breastfeed this weekend - he wants to make sure baby is getting what he needs and he sees how emotional/frustrated I can get with the subject. It makes it hard because I want to be able to try things - but we need a break to get baby healthy/happy and gaining weight then try. Is this ok?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    You need to keep putting baby to the breast. Your baby is MUCH more efficient at getting milk from you than the pump. So please don't consider your pump output to be all that you're producing. Please remember that you're BOTH learning. While baby has instinct, it doesn't mean he's a champion nurser yet, you're both learning together!

    Put baby to the breast first, every time, before you try the bottle. He has to work a little harder to nurse and you don't want him getting a preference for the easier flow of the bottle. You're already finding that pumping and bottle feeding is much more work than breast feeding. So commit to breast first, a big wide mouth to get the right latch.

    Please get to an IBCLC ASAP! http://americas.iblce.org/ Please find them and call right now. They may be able to give you some help over the phone and help you get some real help right away. Please do it.

    I know your husband wants to help, but he can help the most by supporting you in putting baby to the breast every time baby gets hungry. His being "passionate about <you> not trying to breastfeed this weekend" will sabotage you, your supply and baby's learning to nurse. He needs to be passionate about helping you.
    Mommy to our DD1 early bird (34 weeks, 2 days, 7lbs, 14oz)! Oct. 2nd, 2008 Emergency C-Section, Frank Breech, HEALTHY Girl!
    Weaned @ 17 months
    Our DD2 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 12oz) Aug. 10th, 2010 Our Successful VBAC, growing like a bad weed!
    Weaned @ 15 months
    Our DD3 early bird (37 weeks, 3 days, 7lbs, 6oz) Feb. 16th, 2012 Our 2nd VBAC and lightening speedy birth!

    Loving being a Mom of 3, 40 months apart!!
    and

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    Yep, your husband can help by keeping you constantly hydrated and keep the healthy meals/snacks coming. He can help by doing whatever chores are critical (diaper laundry, dishes so you have enough to eat from, grocery store runs, whatever). If he can do everything else, you can spend all your time and efforts on working on getting baby to the breast, and if you have to, pumping. It would be best if you can just hang around in bed or on the couch, reading, watching movies, whatever, and nursing that baby all. day. long. That's what the early weeks are for: building supply and recovering from childbirth. This is one of those things where putting in the real hard work, the sweat and tears, at this stage will really pay off in the long run--breastfeeding gets easier and more enjoyable, I promise.
    Also, some people suggest giving the bottle first, about an oz, and finishing at the breast, so the baby associates the breast with fullness, comfort. Also this comfort nursing will help stimulate your supply much better than pumping.
    Definitely hope you can get in touch with an IBCLC, especially for help on latching issues, but in the meantime, perhaps you could try laid-back breastfeeding. It has been useful to many moms for many different issues from OS/OALD to latching problems with all sizes and shapes of baby's mouths and breasts. Plus, it's more comfortable than sitting bolt upright and hunching your shoulders trying to get baby to latch just like the pictures in the books.
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and biologicalnurturing.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    I definitely had the experience of my first baby not latching well in the early days, losing weight, and engorgement making latch even worse. I also used nipple shields in order to breastfeed in the early weeks, pumped after every feeding for a few weeks, and saw an IBCLC for help-in a few short weeks, (that seemed Looong-endless- at the time) we were doing great. I ended up nursing my son for as long as we both wanted, even though it seemed impossible in those early weeks-and I have never met a mom yet who was not happy she worked through early breastfeeding issues.

    I agree with everything in pps. Also please know it is entirely NORMAL for a newborn to lose some weight after birth-up to 7% of birth weight, sometimes even more is entirely normal and safe. The rule of thumb is for baby to be BACK to birthweight by 10-14 days of age.

    As long as baby cannot latch or nurse enough, I hope you are using a hospital grade rental pump. If baby is not nursing at all, aim to pump 10 times a day, if baby nurses well at a session and does not requirte supplemtns at that session, no need to pump for that time. (except if you are using a nipple sheild it is often reccomended to pump jic.) Even with the best pump, your baby is likely better at extracting milk than the pump (or soon will be.) So there is no worry for your supply if you are pumping 80 % of what your baby needs. Also make sure you understand what a newborn actually needs.

    Besides nursing/offering to nurse as much as you can, while you are still supplementing make sure baby is being fed your expressed breast milk or formula in a breastfeeding supportive way, (see paced bottle feeding info below) with frequent feedings-10-12 times a day or more. According to the textbook Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple (Mohrbacher, 2010), In the first week, a breastfed baby takes tiny feedings of 1-2 ounces at a time and intake increases from perhaps even less than an ounce a day on day one to a total of 19 ounces per day by day 7. IN weeks 2 & 3, feedings can increase to 2-3 ounces at a time for a total of 20-25 ounces per day. IN weeks 4& 5, this continues to increase to average feedings of 3-4 ounces at a time with daily milk intake averaging 25-35 ounces. I mention this because babies are so often OVER fed & not fed frequently enough when they are getting bottles. This causes a mom who actually ahs plenty of milk to think she cannot keep up, as well as teaches baby to expect giant, tummy stretching feedings only a few times a day which will further adversely impact breastfeeding.
    Bottle feeding the breastfed baby (paced bottle feeding) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    Feeding the non-latching baby: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...ching_baby.pdf

    Pumping log: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...umpigchart.pdf

    How dads can help support breastfeeding: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...t_partners.pdf

    Diaper log: (enough poops and weight gain will tell you if baby is getting enough-a gain of one ounce a day is very good.) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

    What is normal in the early weeks with a breastfed baby: http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 22nd, 2012 at 01:24 PM.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    realy best if you can see an IBCLC if baby simply cannot latch. A local LLL Leader may vbe able to help as well. And here are some things to try:


    laid back: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf and www.biologicalnurturing.com make sure to watch the video and remember you can be as reclined as much or as little as you like as long as you are supported & baby can be in any position-experiment!

    other positions and latch info: http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

    Latch and breast sandwich technique: http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html

    latch video: http://www.ameda.com/resources/video

    always try to start nursing when baby is calm and relaxed rather than hungry and frantic. Go off babies earliest cues or just offer anytime you like.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    This is all great information and advice - I really appreciate it. From this forum I actually brought it up this afternoon with my husband that I wanted to try to see if my little guy would latch on with no expectations if something happens or not (it has been about 4 days.) I am happy to say that we have had 4 feedings now where he took a bottle (about 2 oz. or less) and then latched on to me for feedings. I feel there is hope! I have already called my lactation consultant to set up time to go in a continue to get guidance on feeding and hopefully continue this positive trend. It is great to know that there are many options to work with breastfeeding and know that it takes time (especially for new moms) to get the hang of it.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 1st TIme Mommy - Newborn Breastfeeding Help

    My LO had a terrible time latching for the first week.... cracked nipples, extreme pain, etc. Even after that, I could get her to latch, but it seriously took me 15 minutes of stressing and sweating about it to get her on right. The biggest thing that has helped me was to go to youtube and watch multiple videos on breastfeeding, latching, etc. Then I approached it with a sort of confidence since I knew what it was supposed to look and feel like. After that, latching was not a problem. I wish that all of the LCs and nurses in the hospital had shown me videos (I guess I am a visual person). I don't know if you're trying different holds, but there are videos on that as well. I didn't have the confidence to try the cradle hold until about week 2 because every at the hospital showed me football hold, but when I finally got cradle, it felt so much better!! Side-lying can also be a God-send for those marathon nursing days when you're just exhausted.

    Also re: small nipples.... you could manually pinch and roll your nipples before latching to get them to protrude a bit, or you might think about pumping for a few minutes just to get the nipple out and then trying to latch. These things helped me as well.

    Best of luck!

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