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Thread: So frustrated! What do I do!?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default So frustrated! What do I do!?

    My son is 12 weeks old and we have struggled non-stop as I have been trying to strictly breastfeed from the beginning. When he was about a week old his doctor said I needed to supplement him with formula. He was born a week early weighing 6.5lbs and has no physical problems, and now weighs about 12lbs and completely healthy. I have been trying to produce enough milk ever since. I have tried pumping, fenugreek, blessed thistle, mothers teas and am now taking Domperidone to increase my supply. I generally breastfeed him first, offering both breast, then after he still acts hungry I give him a bottle in which he drinks 3 to 4 oz about every 2-3 hours. How am I supposed to make the Domperidone work if I am still having to supplement him due to low supply? My OB prescribed the medication, but did not instruct me how to remove the formula from the equation.
    So now I am wondering: How do I know he is nursing? I have studied the difference between drinking and sucking and I believe he drinks really well for maybe 6 or 7 swallows/drinks then he starts just sucking then the squirming starts. I have been trying the breast compressions and that doesn't seem to make a difference. If all he does is struggle the majority of time at the breast while only swallowing for a few minutes what should I do to improve this?
    I am so frustrated, but really want to be able to strictly breastfeed. Considering he is already 12 weeks is it too late too hope that will ever happen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    48

    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    Have you considered offering the supplement first (maybe 1-2 oz) then finishing with the breast? This way they associate the breast with the full/satisfied feeling, not the other way around. I've heard that has worked well for a lot of mamas.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    It sounds to me like your baby is healthy and normal.
    After breastfeeding, if he still acts as if he's still hungry then offer your boobs again, if he doesn't take it,
    offer the other side, keep on alternating until he settles on a boob he likes.

    The only supplement i tried was Hipp organic mother's milk tea. it tastes good and really worked for me. you can also increase your veggies and fruits, this will help loads with milk production.
    Also, try to relax when bfing... if you are relaxed, baby will sense this and will take cue from you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
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    12

    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    Just a random idea- have you had him checked for "tongue- tie"
    My baby had this, and it caused a lot of nursing issues that we're still coping with but I've learned if I do some tongue stretching just before nursing it helps him be able to suck more efficiently and get more milk. It doesn't work every time but often it does.

    An ENT could check this for you, or let me know your location and I can check into resources for you. If his tongue is restricted, it makes it exhausting and hard to suck correctly and for some mom's, causes severe nipple pain. You can get it clipped, but if he's like my son, you'll need to also do some manual stretching and therapies. My son was clipped four times before we noticed a big improvement. I really think the stretching before each feeding helps him a lot.

    If he is having a hard time sucking, you won't be emptying your breasts and sometimes this can decrease your production. Also, check for little lumps behind your areola as you could also get clogged ducts- also making it harder for him to nurse (vicious cycle) I used Lecithin capsules to combat that issue.


    Good luck!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    [QUOTE=@llli*juneflakes;1278258]Just a random idea- have you had him checked for "tongue- tie"

    What does this mean? what does it look like?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
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    239

    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    Tongue tie refers to having an excessively tight flap of skin connecting the tongue to the bottom of the mouth. A baby with a tongue tie won't be able to stick their tongue out very far, and if they extend it as far as they can, it will look heart shaped because it's attached tightly in the middle. Not being able to use their tongue fully can make it harder to nurse.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    50

    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    All I know is a 3 - 4 oz bottle of formula in addition to whatever he got from the breast is A LOT!!! and probably much more than he needs.

    The suggestions about offering much less formula sound good.

    Wanted to add- try a really slow flow nipple. The Playtex AireVent wide neck bottle comes with a nipple that will turn your face blue working at it. That will help ensure he's not getting "lazy" and just preferring the formula because it's easier. You might find he takes less that way too, assuming he really does need that supplement.

    Also, drinking LOTS of water while nursing helps me.

    But honestly my healthy 12 week old was never happy at the breast unless she was practically asleep. For us, that was just "normal" trials of the first 3 months.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    140

    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    Have you seen a lactation consultant yet? If you haven't or haven't been back in a while I think you would really benefit from seeing a good LC. I'm not an expert about this but with newborns they will often weigh before and after feed to see if the baby got 'enough'. I think I have seen some varying opinions on this method thought They should also be able to check for tongue tie among other things. Some women have breasts that don't have enough breast tissue. It just really sounds like you need hands on help in addition to the help you can find here.

    I have no idea how to take out the supplements other experienced moms on here can help with that though.

    Can you explain why you didn't think you were making enough to start supplementing in the first place in more detail? How long does he nurse for before getting fussy?
    Married to the best husband ever since Nov 2009
    DS born 1/7/12 at 36 wks after PROM and Gestational diabetes happy and healthy ~

    Taking it one day at a time.

    Currently and !!!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    11

    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    I haven't seen a LC because honestly I cannot afford it. They are very expensive, but I have tried getting help through LLL, but that was just over the phone and her suggestion was to see a LC.
    I started supplementing when he was about a week old. Everything seemed to be going well. He was latching on and was having a bowel movement every single feeding so I felt confident about it. One day he didnt poop, so naturally I freaked out lol and took him to the dr. They weighed him and he hadnt gain so his dr said to give him formula. I wish I would have just waited, but I cannot change that now!
    It is really hard to get him on the breast lately. It takes a while to get him to latch on, and then after about 5 or 6 good swallows he starts ssquirming and trying to pull off.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: So frustrated! What do I do!?

    Newborns can be notoriously fussy at the breast. All of the bottles are probably compounding the problem. PP is correct that 3-4 ounces is a huge amount for a bottle at that age. My son only took 3 ounce bottles of expressed milk for a feeding when I was away at work and he was not nursing. I would try smaller supplements (maybe 1-2 ounces at a time) using a slow flow nipple and paced bottle feeding methods. Bottle feeding in a breastfeeding supportive way will help some.

    My son would scream at the breast all too often when he was very small. Here are some things that I did during that time to help my baby calm down enough to nurse:

    • Latch/nurse while walking with my baby in a sling or carrier or my arms.
    • Latch/nurse while bouncing my baby on my knee.
    • Latch/nurse while rocking and singing.
    • Nurse with music playing (sometimes pretty loud).
    • Nurse outside while on a walk with my son in the sling/carrier or sitting on the deck.
    • Nurse in the bath.

    Try keeping your baby at the breast as much as possible; wearing him in a sling or carrier is a good idea - he can nurse pretty much constantly and the motion of you walking around is soothing which may help keep him happy while nursing. Also try nursing him when he is very sleepy or even already asleep. Your baby should be nursing a minimum of 10-12 times a day at this age. If he will nurse even more often than that, even better! The more often he nurses, the more he will increase your supply.

    Make sure to pump for at least 10-20 minutes every time you give a supplement to make sure your body knows that it is missing a feeding. You might not get much milk at first, but the stimulation will help build your supply so that you can eventually produce more for the pump and either cut out the bottles and nurse or at least supplement with your own milk instead of formula.

    Here is some information on weaning from formula supplements.

    Your insurance might cover a visit to an LC. Look into it. Even if you need to pay for a visit (usually about $100 for a visit, and that might be negotiable if you explain your situation), it will be far cheaper than a year of formula.

    It sounds like you can successfully breastfeed if you hang in there. Nurse as much as possible. Take the domperidone and pump after giving every supplement. Milk removal is the best way to boost supply. You can do this!
    Last edited by @llli*phi; July 21st, 2012 at 09:22 PM.
    K. Sophia - Mama to my little lactivore, the amazing Mr. X (11/10).

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