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Thread: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    Hi all, I have a seemingly healthy 2.5wk old. When she was born (au naturel) she latched right away. The latch had to be corrected and she started to regain the 10%of body weight she lost. Then the struggles really began.
    Shes soooo tired! I have to let her awake on her own to feed otherwise shes virually comotose. I had discussed this concern with the lactation consultant/nurses/dr. etc and they said this was fine. I was pumping to boost my supply, started taking fenugreek/blessed thistle all too boost the flow since she stops sucking/drinking when it slows down. I also have had to supplement her. Started first with a cup but she wears most of it. Then finger feeding which worked well but now she gags and fights with it so now I have resorted to using a bottle to top her up.
    I was seen at the Newman clinic but really there isn't much to be done accept taking advice. They suggested a lactation aid for use at the breast but its almost impossible to get it working all the time.
    I have a two yr old at home that is VERY BUSY and seems to be acting out in reaction to the new baby and my husband is back to work Monday.
    Not sure I can keep doing this....I'm stressed, depressed, feeling clueless! Also, I stopped pumping for two days because the flow was better and she nursed better but then my supply took a nasty header!! So now i'm a slave to the pump again.

    Anyone else experiencing difficulities and want to give some advice?

    Desparate

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    Welcome to the forum!

    Sleepy newborns can be a real challenge. Here are some tips on waking one:
    - Keep the lights dim in the room you're nursing in- newborns often close their eyes in response to bright light.
    - A cool baby is a more alert baby. When it's time to nurse, strip her down to a diaper or onesie. And keep a fan blowing in the room- though not directly on the baby.
    - An annoyed baby is a more alert baby. Rub the soles of her feet or against the grain of her hair using your hand or a cool, damp washcloth.
    - Try switch nursing. When suckling slows, and baby seems to be drifting off, take her off the first breast, burp her, change her diaper- basically, wake her up- and switch her to the other side. Repeat this process as many times as possible, until she will no longer wake.

    It's tough to manage a newborn who isn't nursing well- or even one who is!- and a toddler. Can you get a babysitter or mother's helper? Other things you can try:
    - stop cleaning and cooking- you don't need to do anything right now but nurse the baby!
    - take-out
    - ask for help- your friends and family would probably be willing to help if you asked, and they can bring overalls, throw in loads of laundry, or lay with the toddler while you focus on nursing.
    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!"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    Welcome to the forum!

    Sleepy newborns can be a real challenge. Here are some tips on waking one:
    - Keep the lights dim in the room you're nursing in- newborns often close their eyes in response to bright light.
    - A cool baby is a more alert baby. When it's time to nurse, strip her down to a diaper or onesie. And keep a fan blowing in the room- though not directly on the baby.
    - An annoyed baby is a more alert baby. Rub the soles of her feet or against the grain of her hair using your hand or a cool, damp washcloth.
    - Try switch nursing. When suckling slows, and baby seems to be drifting off, take her off the first breast, burp her, change her diaper- basically, wake her up- and switch her to the other side. Repeat this process as many times as possible, until she will no longer wake.

    It's tough to manage a newborn who isn't nursing well- or even one who is!- and a toddler. Can you get a babysitter or mother's helper? Other things you can try:
    - stop cleaning and cooking- you don't need to do anything right now but nurse the baby!
    - take-out
    - ask for help- your friends and family would probably be willing to help if you asked, and they can bring overalls, throw in loads of laundry, or lay with the toddler while you focus on nursing.
    I do undress her down to the diaper, tickle her feet etc. But I will try the suggestion with the lighting and fan. How long should I be trying though? I'm afraid she will get to fatigued even for the top up supplement. Right now Breastfeeding, top up, pumping takes about 1hr-1.5hrs. She's usually done by the hour.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    When your baby wakes on her own and nurses, how often does that happen and how long will she nurse? I guess i am wondering how you know baby requires/continues to require supplements or that your supply is low or 'took a header.'

    I am concerned that the pumping and supplementing is causing more issues. The pumping because obviously that is causing extra work, is exhausting and time consuming for you, the supplementing as then baby fills up on bottles and then is even more sleepy and less like;y to request the breast. Even if it was necc. at first, supplementing and pumping can create this treadmill that is hard to get off.

    what about encouraging baby to latch and nurse in her sleep. did anyone at the clinic suggest biological nurturing? i assume they suggested breast compressions to help keep baby interested at the breast.

    also make sure you are not doing anything that promotes longer sleep stretches-swaddling, pacifier.

    do you have a reasonably toddler safe room or backyard that you and your children can all be in (and stay in) so your toddler can be active while you nurse?
    will your toddler 'help' you? Or would they play 'mommy' (or daddy) and take care of their own 'baby' while you take care of your baby? (My sons liked to pretend to nurse...)
    do you allow tv/videos? I am personally anti-media for that age but if it came down to a choice i would definitely relax in that dept.
    do you have a sling and are you able to nurse baby in it?
    also any friends with toddlers you can invite over for a playdate in which they play with the toddlers and you nurse your baby?

  5. #5
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    She nurses approx 5-10 mins (thats active nursing both sides) then I fight with her for the next 30-45 mins trying to keep her awake. She comes off the breast and I put her down and she starts rooting like crazy, biting at her fist, heads going back and forth. I end up supplementing her just to satisfy her. Also, she cluster feeds every evening from about 8pm-12am. Its hard to satisfy her if she isn't eating. How do you latch a baby in their sleep? I do breast compressions but I don't find it that useful.
    I will try the not swaddling thing for sure and she doesn't get a pacifier.
    I know to monitor the diaper output but at what point do I let her nurse and tire herself out without getting what she needs? I know she doesn't get much because I don't see/hear her swallowing or drinking.
    I am currently trying to make friends with the sling. I won't try nursing in it though because I am still trying to learn to nurse! What is biological nursing? Is that like baby led mother guiding nursing or laid back nursing? I have tried this a couple of times. I'm not really a fan because it hurts when she latches incorrectly. I should also mention that my nipples are flat/inverted. She is able to draw them out but they are also big.
    I have already started playdates and putting a game plan into place for when I need to nurse at home when I have my son. Hoping it works.
    I am just hoping as she gets bigger, she will "wake up" and nurse better. Is this unrealistic?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    It's not unrealistic to expect baby to wake up that is actually pretty typical that a baby would be sleepy first two weeks and then wake up.
    What I do not understand is why you are supplementing. Your babies behavior sounds normal.
    Those feedings are on the short side but how often is baby nursing? Typical for this age is a minimum of 12 times a day. Minimum. That way even short feedings can (usually) give baby enough overall. Good baby is cluster feeding and cue feeding. But you just want to make sure baby is cueing frequently enough.
    If the laid back positioning hurts just try it less laid back. You just need a slight tilt and baby can be in any position.
    To encourage baby to latch in sleep you keep baby on you most of the time so when they start rooting in sleep as is normal you can get them on quickly. Also laid back does not mean you cannot help baby latch if that is needed.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    Ok, I will try that with the laid back nursing. As far as how often she is nursing, she sleeps for 3.5-4.5 hrs at a time so I am concerned that she isn't drinking enough. I asked the lactation consultant and dr. about her sleeping so long and the difficulties I was having waking her and they just said to let her wake her on her own.
    My last nursing session actually went quite well I think. She nursed both sides for up to 35. Of course I had to keep with breast compressions and rousing her but it seemed to be not too bad. My husband topped her up approx 1 1/4 oz. I did find she was still rooting after and she really doesn't like the bottle. I put her to breast again and again and yet again but she didn't drink. Just fell asleep. Was she still hungry? So confused with all this breastfeeding business....

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    Babies are instinctively driven to stay at the breast as much as possible. Frequent nursing helps ensure that babies get fed even when they are small, weak, and sleepy. Suckling and body-to-body contact help regulate the baby's breathing, heart rate, nervous system, and body temperature. And always being in mom's arms keeps a baby safe: as far as a baby knows, we're all still living in caveman times and a hungry sabretooth tiger could wander by at any moment! This is why it's 100% normal for babies to seek the breast even after a perfectly adequate meal.

    Nurse, nurse, nurse, and then nurse some more! I am sure your sleepy Miss will wake up soon.
    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!"

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    she sleeps for 3.5-4.5 hrs at a time
    OK, I am sorry I am very confused. Do you mean your baby eats only every 4 hours or so? That would be about 6 times a day. Not nearly often enough at this age. Or do you mean the occasional sleep stretch of 3-4 hours-like, once or twice a day? That would be normal-as long as baby were gaining well just at the breast.

    I also am confused about this-if your doctor and LC think these long sleep stretches are fine, why are you supplementing and why do you say you have a sleepy baby?

    The norm is that a baby this age NEEDS to nurse a minimum of 10-12 times a day. Certainly some may get enough when nursing less often, but there is clearly a problem if baby is not getting enough! Letting baby wake on her own is certainly preferable- unless your baby cannot get enough to eat that way! You are supplementing, which suggests you think your baby is NOT getting enough to eat at the breast. Please check with the doctor and LC again. I don't think they mean for you to let your baby sleep so long she cannot get enough milk by breastfeeding so you have to supplement! With a healthy breastfeeding baby mom should NOT ever need to supplement, or pump, or any of that.

    I get it baby lost a lot of weight right after birth. But why are you still supplementing? Are you supplementing due to continued poor weight gain or poor output (not enough poops) or just due to baby seeming hungry after nursing? If baby is gaining and pooping as normal, I strongly urge you to sonsider stopping supplementing or begining to wean off supplementing (if you are supplemeting a lot you may need to take time to do it safely) and simply nurse. Supplementing, while vital when needed, is very counterproductive if it is not needed.

    Breastfeeding is very simple. Unless there is some major problem where baby is incapable of extracting milk normally, or, even more rarely, mom has some preexisting condition that prevents adequate milk production, here is how it works-The more often baby nurses, the more milk baby gets. the more often baby nurses, the more milk momma makes. The opposite is also true.

    Maybe this article about what is normal and expected in the early weeks will be helpful

    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

  10. #10
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    Oct 2012
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    Default Re: Problems with nursing - any advice with be appreciated!

    Hmmm, you certainly gave me lots to think about last night. My lo started to feed at 6pm and cluster fed until midnight ( which
    Is normal for her). She went to sleep and I heard her start to rouse at 330. I got her up, undressed her, changed her bum and tried to put her to breast.... Too sleepy couldn't keep her awake so I put her on my chest and we fell asleep. I didn't wake up until 5! I woke her up and she ate again for about another two hrs. I haven't supplemented or pumped since yesterday.
    I noticed she pretty much emptied one breast but not really the second. I'm watching her diapers like a hawk. I think to be honest I've fallen into the "supplementing" track due to my experience with my first son who was premature. It was a very bad experience with the nicu and support with Breastfeeding wasn't good. I ended up pumping for a year.
    She seems to be feeding better. I am gonna try to get her up more often to feed. But yes the drs and lactation knew she was only feeding about 6 times a day. Thanks for all of your advice, you've been more helpful than you know!

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