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Thread: Cannot find a rhythm

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default Cannot find a rhythm

    Hi all..thanks for all your previous help to my posts. I'm trying to pin down the problem my daughter and I are having so that I can find a solution..here goes.

    She had her posterior tongue tie clipped on the 19th. Since then, she's gained her birth weight back (she will be 5 weeks old on Saturday plus some..she was 8 lb 14oz at birth and is now 9 lb 9oz) and her latch is much better. I have been supplementing with formula (no more than 4oz per day) and would really like to wean her off of this but, am having a difficult time doing so. I had gotten her down to 1 oz a day but, then she hit a growth spurt and we increased it to 2oz/day again. I usually hit a wall with her somewhere between 5pm and 10pm where the only way I can get her full and settled is to give her some formula. Last weight check, she had gained 5.5 oz in a week. I was ecstatic but, then the IBCLC told me that if I was not using formula, it would only be about 1-2oz weight gain. Can 2oz of formula in 24 hours really make that much of a difference?

    No amount of nursing, compressions, switch nursing, baby-wearing, jostling or pacis will help. Only the formula helps. I'm currently on 90 mgs of domperidone a day and I also take fenugreek.

    I nurse at least 10x per 24 hours but, not as often after 10pm because she sleeps really well at night and I need to rest as well. I have a 2 year old running around wreaking havoc, hahah and that often interrupts feedings, etc. It takes up to an hour for my baby to seem satisfied at the breast during the day and in the evenings, it usually takes an hour+ a bottle of 2 oz of formula.

    I guess my questions are:

    1. what else can I do to increase my supply? I also have letdowns but they are slow and I would love to meet my babies demands
    2. what can I do (if anything) to speed up efficiency in nursing? why is it taking so long now that her tongue is clipped?
    3. should I be waking her up at night to feed her to increase my supply?
    4. does it matter that we don't have any kind of rhythm?? (the whole day is one big cluster feed with me trying to keep my toddler occupied) I try to explain how many feedings and how often we feed but, we are all over the place. 5 min feedings here, 2 hour feedings there..
    5. if I don't nurse at night will I cease to have letdowns at night? Meaning, can I have a great supply during the day and a crappy one at night?

    Thanks in advance!
    S.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    How old is your baby? In the beginning, it's totally normal not to have any kind of routine or rhythm. Even once baby is a bit older and starts to fall into a pattern, it's normal for that pattern to switch up and change on a regular basis.

    If the weight gain was fine and you were getting plenty of wet and dirty diapers I'd say 'never wake a sleeping baby.' But in this case, if you are already having issues with supply, yes I think you should be waking baby every 3 hours at night to feed her. This is not only to get food in her, but also to get your supply up and established at a level where it is sufficient to feed the baby. If you are going several hours at night without nursing OR pumping that is having a negative affect on your overall supply.

    Also, unless diaper output drop significantly during growth spurts I would suggest you handle it by nursing more frequently rather than supplementing more formula. It is completely normal for baby to want to nurse frequently, it may even feel like constantly, when going through a growth spurt. That is baby's way of boosting your supply to the level that they need. It's also completely normal for babies to cluster feed in the evening. It DOESN'T mean baby needs formula. What the formula does is settles in the tummy more thickly than breastmilk and digests much slower so it makes baby feel full longer.

    Having said all that, if you are only supplementing 2 oz per day, that isn't all that much. It actually doesn't sound to me like you really have supply issues at this point as much as maybe a confidence issue (and of course a toddler issue ). You are doing great so far, don't feel like you aren't. Try dropping the formula (one ounce to start with) and watch the wet diapers carefully over a couple of days. Nurse on demand, as often as baby wants (even if you keep getting interrupted, just go back to it when you can), try waking her at night and see if that helps.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    Sorry, she is 5 weeks old. I will try setting my alarm and nursing every 3 hours. It's just very hard because a feeding takes at least an hour so, I will definitely be trashed come morning when my toddler wakes up.

    and yes, I definitely have a confidence issue. I had low supply issues due to a tongue tie with my first girl and not only did I not get the tongue clipped, I was given bad advice overall..we still made it 13 month bfing but I supplemented the whole way.

    Thanks for your help. I know I sound all over the place but, that's kind of how I feel.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    Is there any way baby can sleep in the bed with you? that way you can doze off and just let her nurse away. Cosleeping can be done perfectly safely and it is saves a lot of nursing relationships.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    And 13 months is nothing to sneeze at! Even if you did supplement along with it. I supplemented both of my babies when I was at work.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    Sorry, I keep forgetting to add things.

    At 5 weeks you definitely should not expect any kind of routine yet. You and baby are still getting to know each other and your body is still regulating.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    My first daughter was extremely fussy between 7:00 and 9:00 every night, and the only way I could routinely calm her down was to offer a bottle. I put pumped milk in the bottle rather than formula, and pumped every time I offered the bottle, and that way my supply stayed equal to my baby's needs. She did outgrow her need for a bottle at around 3 months, and we never looked back.

    You might want to consider adding a little bit of pumping into your routine- maybe pump right after the first morning feeding, and at night when you resort to the bottle. Increasing stimulation to and milk removal from the breast is always the best way to improve milk supply, better than any herbs or drugs.

    Another thing you might want to try is switch nursing: you nurse the baby on one breast, and when he sucking slows and she seems to be transitioning into comfort nursing or falling asleep, you take her off the first breast, burp her and change her diaper, and switch her to the second breast. You repeat that process as many times as necessary until the baby will no longer wake.

    Don't worry about a lack of a routine/rhthym- at just 5 weeks it's completely normal not to have one.
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    I just wanted to put another word in for nursing while lying down at night if you can, so that you can get some rest. I have a 3 week old, she nurses a lot in general and nurses for a long time, and this allows me to feel moderately well rested in the morning despite nursing a lot. Sometimes, if I'm awake enough, I do resettle her in the cosleeper after a feed. Other times I fall asleep and don't do that, so I keep the bed safe for cosleeping all the time. It is much easier for a nursing mom and nursing frequently at night is really good for your supply, because (a) you're spending more time nursing and (b) women tend to have higher breastfeeding hormones at night, and night nursing has been shown to be more effective at increasing supply than day nursing, for whatever reason.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    Default Re: Cannot find a rhythm

    Thanks, all. We have co-slept while nursing some but, I wake to find her just doing pacifier sucking. Not sure if she's really nursing or not. Also, woke one night to find me hugging the pillow AND my baby. sCARy. I save co-sleeping for when I'm not completely zonkered because I'm not hyper-aware that she's in the bed with me like some moms are.

    She's screaming her face off right now in my moby. Gave her 1 oz of formula and she threw it right up.

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