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Thread: Have no idea what Im doing.........

  1. #1

    Unhappy Have no idea what Im doing.........

    Okay I really need some help. I had my son on 09/23/12 and he came 5 weeks early and he is 2 weeks 2 days old now. Due to this it was hard for him to latch on and I had to give him formula because he developed jaundice. I was able to keep breast feeding him but had to use a nipple shield because my nipples are flat according to the LC at the hospital. We finally made it home and its been really hard trying to exclusively breastfeed and make sure he's eating enough as to not develop jaundice again which I am terrified about. Ive been producing milk but I'm unsure if its enough for him. Sometimes it feels like he wants to eat ALL the time which is exhausting. I have continued to supplement with formula but everytime I do I feel like a failure and wonder if I should even continue bfing. I have also been trying to pump but he wants to eat so often that I don't have time. I'm going back to work in a few weeks so I want to build up a supply. My question is how do I know if he's getting enough to eat wand how do I establish a supply to store? My husband and I have been supplementing mainly at night because I'm so exhausted from feeding him all day and need a break. I would love to supplement with pumped breastmilk at night but don't have time. He has plenty of wet and soiled diapers but I don't know if its enough. I have also been drinking mothers milk tea to boost my supply but I don't known if I am because I haven't been able to pump and baby wants to eat all the time. I just want to make sure I'm doing the right thing and I am terrified of starving my son and feel selfish sometimes for wanting to do it so bad. Sorry so long and any advice is appreciated. Thanks!!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Nashville, TN
    Posts
    520

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    Weight gain and soiled diapers are generally your cues that your LO is getting enough. Try not to give up. You're not alone. It IS exhausting and frustrating, but I came to realize it's also amazing. To be responsible for sustaining a little tiny person's life after carrying him or her all those months. What I love about nursing despite all the hard moments is that it's something only I can do for my DD. As for milk supply for back to work, I pumped only in the morning while on leave. I'd pump one side and simultaneously her nurse on the other. Then just nurse throughout the day. Next morning switch the pump side. We co sleep so nursing at night is far easier. No formula in the mix. If you don't co sleep think about it. I feel certain I get more sleep by being right there when its time to nurse. We started with the Summer Infant sleeper right in between me and my husband but usually she just sleeps across my stomach. Ill wear a nursing tank with a little cotton open hoodie so my shoulders don't get cold.
    Anyway with my pump one side once a day process I had a good stash built up and now while at work I pump 3x in 9 hours. By the way I love nursing way more now that I use that pump so often. I dread the pump. Necessary evil.
    1st time mom over 40 to Alex(andra) b: 7/14/12

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    You can do it!!!

    Babies are more efficient at emptying the breast than any pump on the market. My vote is to nurse as often as possible, including through the night to build your supply until you return to work. I, unfortunately, "had" to supplement using a SNS at the breast for days 3 and 4 due to bad advice at the hospital following >10% birth weight loss.

    A few questions:
    - How many heavy wet diapers and how many bowel movements (larger than a US quarter size) is baby having daily?
    - What is baby's weight pattern?
    - How many feeds per day?

    You don't need to pump to gauge your supply. In fact, in many cases, pump output is totally unrepresentative of supply. For instance, my son is 11 months old and almost EBF, but I can pump about 10 drops with a non-hospital grade pump. Does that mean my son has been photosynthesizing this whole time? Not at all!

    The best gauge of supply is output (# wets and soiled diapers), weight gain, baby's disposition, and ensuring proper latch. If baby is properly latched, you should see distinct pauses in baby's chin as the jaw lowers between sucks. You may hear some swallowing too.

    These are early enough days that, with high nursing frequency, you can taper off the supplements and EBF, likely quite quickly.
    Last edited by @llli*alphawoman; October 9th, 2012 at 08:32 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,843

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    Nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, nurse, and watch baby's diaper output. That's almost always the solution to any nursing problem!

    This link explains how to wean from formula supplements: http://kellymom.com/health/growth/weight-gain_increase/. Before you get into storing milk for a return to work, I would focus on dropping the supplemental bottles. Once you have done that, you can start building a stash.

    Eating "all the time" is 100% normal for a newborn baby. It's challenging, frustrating, and temporary. Often moms think that they must not have enough milk because their babies feed so incessantly, or because they fuss any time mom tries to put them down. When my first was a newborn, I remember thinking "I thought babies fed every 3 hours and then just... lay there in the crib? So why is she nursing for an hour every hour?" With my second kid, I was a lot more relaxed- I just expected her
    to latch on like a tick, and stay latched on for the first 3 months or so.

    One thing you probably do not have to worry about is the jaundice. Once you have flushed the bilirubin from the baby's bloodstream, it's not going to come back. At this point, baby not getting enough milk from nursing would be much more likely to result in inadequate growth than anything else. And before that happened, you'd see inadequate diaper output.

    Finally, please stop feeling "selfish" for wanting to nurse your baby! Nursing a baby is one of the most selfless things you can do. You're surrendering a very intimate part of your body to someone who is completely dependent on you. "Selfish" moms don't do that.
    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!"

  5. #5

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    Thank you for your feedback. Yesterdays I bfed all day and got around 8 wet diapers and 1 poopy diaper. I have noticed that the when we give him formula at night the wet diapers are super soaked and heavy as opposed to the bfed ones that are wet but not super soaked. I have noticed that I have more of a supply in the morning and at night it dries up it seems lol. I pumped this morning before he woke up and got almost 3 oz total. He was ready to eat about an hour later but it seemed I didn't have enough left and I ended up having to give him some expressed bm from yesterday and today. When baby eats out of a bottle it seems to satisfy him more than the breast and when I see this I just want to give up : ( feels like I'm doing everrything wrong.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    Hi mama,

    Please remember that even a baby who had a satisfying nursing session may eat quite a bit out of a bottle afterwards. How much he takes from a bottle, post-nursing session, isn't a good indicator of your supply.

    My son often seems more satisfied after my husband feeds him a bottle because my husband feeds him too much. I am in NO WAY saying that you're feeding him too much, I just know that my husband used to keep making bottles until my son seemed satisfied. But, by the time my son acted satisfied he'd had WAY too much... close to 5-6oz. After eating such a large quantity of food, DS would go into a food coma, which may be perceived as him being more satisfied. I always compare it to eating a huge Thanksgiving meal instead of a small normal meal. After I eat a huge meal, all i want to do is sit around and sleep. Just something to think about. From what I understand, breastfed babies should only be taking 2-3 oz at each meal.

    Good luck

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,843

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    In a young baby, that "stuffed so full I have to pass out" food come looks exactly like satisfaction. But it's not the norm for a breastfed baby. A breastfed baby will eat what he needs and then stop. He won't eat all he needs plus a big helping of dessert (so to speak) the way he will with a bottle.

    It's very normal for supply to dip in the evenings, when mama is tired and levels of prolactin (the milk-making hormone) tend to be at their lowest. But lower supply isn't low supply. If the baby is allowed to nurse-nurse-nurse through the lower supply evening, the constant demand (a.k.a. cluster feeding) will train mom's body to produce more milk during the slow flow hours.
    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
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Paris, France
    Posts
    183

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    with all pps advice... nurse, nurse, nurse! You will eventually get off the formula if you work at it (and, yes, it is exhausting!) - I did with DS. It took us a full 4 weeks to wean him off. We know how you are feeling at this point in time, 'Am I doing the right thing? Is it meant to be this tiring? Will this ever get better?'. Yes you are doing the right thing - you are doing the most wonderful thing you could for your LO, yes it's normal you're so tired ALL.OF.THE.TIME! And yes, it will get better. Whether we bf or not becoming a mother for the first time is so overwhelming. It is a huge bumpy ride on the parent learning curve. Just remember we are here for when you need us!
    -Ishy-

    Married 28 july 2005
    Mummy to my DS , born 30 july 2008
    proud to have BF him for 8 months
    Now a Mummy for the 2nd time to my DD , born 15 june 2012 for 15 1/2months! Still whenever we can and

    DS Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 15oz - 19.5inches
    4 yrs: 35lbs 4oz - 3feet 5.5inches
    5 yrs: 40lbs - 3feet 8inches

    DD Stats
    Birth: 7lbs 13oz - 19.5inches
    6.5 months 12lbs 14oz - 26inches
    9 months 15lbs 13oz
    15months 20lbs 11oz - 30 inches

  9. #9

    Default Re: Have no idea what Im doing.........

    Thank you all so much! I literally started crying because what you all said made so much sense and I finally feel like I have been doing the right thing. Thanks again!!!!

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