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Thread: A few questions about breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Default A few questions about breastfeeding

    Hello! So I think this would be better if I give a little history. My lo was born on July 25th, so he is just over 3 months. We have just now made it 12 days being ebf, the first few months were challenging but I was very determined. Probably easiest if I start at the very beginning. So while we were in the hospital he wanted to nurse CONSTANTLY. I was doing my best but quite honeslty after a while I started to get very sore nipples (no cracking or bleeding, just very sore). Lactation came down several times to try to help me, told me we were latching great, but as to be expected we didn't really have any milk yet as he was just born.

    On the day we were due to be leaving the hospital we had a new nurse. At one point during the morning he was crying and crying. I was at my wits end and my df was trying his best to help out in consoling him but it wasn't working. The nurse came in and said "he probably is ready to nurse again". I was like that just can't be possible he was literally just there for HOURS. She started getting snippy with me as if I was lying or something and I finally just gave in and back to bf we went. After she left and we had finally had him settled down again I handed him back to df and went into the bathroom and cried. I cried both from the pain I was experiencing and from the way she had just treated me, as if I don't know my own child or body and as if I wasn't trying hard enought. So after that we discussed things with the doctor and it was decided to supplement with formula (which I so didn't want to do but I didn't know what else to do).

    From there it was a long road of low supply issues, then having to return the loaner pump back to the hospital and use only a manual pump causing my supply to go even lower, and then my doctor failed to order my IUD for my 6 week check up so instead she prescribed me a pill, that I stupidly took before researching it, that contained estrogen and caused me to almost completely dry up at this point. I was so frustrated, angry, upset, depressed...I ended up reaching out to a friend (not so much with the intentions of what happened next, but because she had ppd and I was looking for support), when I had told her what was going on she offered to lend me her pump. I was able to use all my own tubing and such from the hospital, but now actually had a pump. Just having it boosted my confidence big time. So we worked hard, we would nurse, then I would pump right after, for days. Finally one day when mixing up a bottle of formula and the nipple on the bottle leaking and it not mixing well I was like "that's it we are doing this if it's the last thing we do" and that was the last day of formula.

    So like I said we are now 12 days ebf, which almost seems unreal to me. I still have to supplement a bottle toward nighttime, but it is from pumped milk from the night before (I usually stay up a few hours after he goes to sleep and then I pump again just before I go to sleep, and he is sleeping through the night so I don't have to nurse him). Now my newest issue with him, I have created a "booby monster". Today he is just constantly on the breast. I don't think he is doing it to eat necessarily because I thought earlier that maybe my supply is low at the time and offered a bottle but he refused it, so I then offered a pacifier and he refused that also. He has also been just generally cranky all day. The only thing helping him is just allowing him to be at the breast, I have him set up on the boppy so that he can just do what he wants as he wants because if I try to take him away he starts screaming and crying. He has also been drooling and spitting up a lot lately. Could this just be a growth spurt or some type of phase? At this point I'm just like ok whats wrong but realistically, I can't eat or do anything of my own like this. I'm just not sure what could be wrong.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    Nothing is wrong. Except that no one told you that this is and will be your new normal. The nurse should have just told you that on the 1st day. It's normal for newborns to nurse around the clock. Literally. That is what is needed in the first weeks to regulate your supply. ESPECIALLY in the 1st days when your baby is working on instinct to call your milk to come in. And there are growth spurts at 3, 6, and 12 weeks and then again at 4 and 6 months. Where there are literally 3-5 day spans where your marathon. Nurse. Nothing you are describing is not normal. All of us spent the 1st 6-12 weeks at least, in our PJ's planted on the couch, finding our nursing groove with our kids. It takes that long, it's what mother nature intends, and is no cause for alarm. Your babies chances of survival go up exponentially is he constantly in contact with you. I got up to pee, get more food to eat and change diapers. That's it. I read, talked on the phone, watched movies and played on the computer. Wrap your mind around the fact that the most important job you have is to feed the baby. When I felt like I couldn't take another day I took a class on baby wearing and started wearing him around the house. TO do laundry and make myself some food. But your child SHOULD be granted unlimited access to your breasts and you do need to know that more feeding means that the baby is working to get your supply to match a growing demand. It's how a woman can successfully go from EBF a 6lb baby to EBF and 18lb baby. The demand goes up, the only way your body knows that is that the baby DEMANDS more often at the breast. Offer unlimited access. Your child is not a boobie monster. He's a healthy growing boy. The only way he can let your body know is growing , is to ask for more milk.

    Way too lazy for formula

  3. #3
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Nothing you are describing is not normal. All of us spent the 1st 6-12 weeks at least, in our PJ's planted on the couch, finding our nursing groove with our kids.
    The only difference between you and most other nursing moms is that you're getting into your groove at 3 months instead of in the first 1-2 months. All the work that most people are putting in at 3 weeks- the sitting on the couch and nursing, nursing, nursing, getting baby to bond with the breast, getting your supply to be where it should be- you're doing it now. Which is awesome, because most people who face the sort of hurdles you've overcome don't make it to EBF. They continue to supplement or they switch to formula. You've done an amazing job so far, and now all you have to do is to keep on investing your time and responding to your "booby monster".

    It's entirely normal for babies, even much older babies, to want to be permanently latched on. This is particularly true during growth spurts and teething, both of which may be going on right now. The drooling is a pretty common teething or pre-teething sign.

    Give this a week. If nothing changes, come back here and we'll talk about ways to wrap your life around a baby who doesn't want to unlatch or be put down. Until then, get the tv remote, some water, some snacks, a good novel, your mobile device... And park your rear end on the couch and just nurse, nurse, nurse. Everything else can wait.

    You're doing a terrific job!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    I agree with DJsmom and mommal that what you describe sounds totally normal. You really deserve a lot of respect for hanging in there this far when you had supply issues and bad advice early on. Hang in there a bit longer. It WILL get easier, I promise. But for now, it is definitely not unusual to feel like you're just nursing around the clock. Do you have support? Is your partner helpful with giving you breaks? I have an almost three-month-old myself right now, and I know I just feel sometimes like I'm going to go INSANE sitting there doing "nothing". It helps if you can hand off the baby, even for a few minutes, to give yourself a little break. Are you comfortable nursing in public? I've found it's really helpful for my sanity to plan little trips out of the house. I babywear, so that means carrying her out with me - she'll usually fall asleep in the carrier so she's not demanding to nurse, but if she really wants to we find a place to stop and nurse. Wearing the baby helps with getting yourself the opportunity to eat also.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    I agree with PPs and I also think it is amazing that you are exclusively breast-feeding after all you went through early on. I do have a question you mentioned that your baby sleeps through the night can you tell me exactly what you mean by that? Because it actually is quite unusual for a breast-fed baby to have a sleep stretch longer than maybe 5 to 6 hours at the most at this age.
    I wonder if maybe your baby is nursing so much during the day because baby is sleeping particularly long at night this happens quite a bit.
    Personally if I was awake and my baby was asleep and I was feeling a little full, rather than dragging out the pump I would simply pick my baby up and see if he would nurse. that way I don't lose any sleep my baby doesn't get a bottle and I'm not messing around with the pump.

  6. #6

    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    So as far as the sleeping and pumping go, usually its around the 9-10pm feeding that I have to offer a bottle after nursing and pump to keep up stimulation. He then sleeps for a 2-3 hours, nurses one more time which is usually more of a "snack" because it is only from one side instead of both like all other feeding but sometimes it is both. If only one I pump the other side. That is usually his last feeding of the night and when he goes into his long sleep stretch. Depending on when he eats (anywhere between 11pm and 1am), is when he goes to bed, on average being about midnight. Then he wakes up around 7am give or take, again depending on what time he actually went to bed. Between him going to bed at about 3am I am still up working on schoolwork, housework, whatever. Then I pump before I go to sleep. After he wakes up for his first morning feeding we usually sleep for 2-3 more hours before really beginning our day, where he nurses anywhere usually every 2-4 hours (the early morning and later evening being more around 2 hours, mid day stretches out a little bit sometimes). He also takes 2-3 naps throughout the day about 45min each. Today (or yesterday at this point) was off, and maybe what is being said about him eating more during the day because of sleeping more during the night is right because he went to bed around 12:30am and didn't wake up until after 10am, which I can't even believe that happened seeing it written in front of me. How I even slept through that long is beyond me because I am usually a horrible sleeper, I only woke up because of new carpeting being installed in a nearby apartment and the hammering going on, and he woke up shortly after me, and I was really confused by it. Then that first feeding went normal, as did the next at noon (so 2 hours later) then it all went downhill from there, and he would only eat from one side and was wanting to go back every hour and would be there for a good half hour each time, at one point I literally did not put him down (like mentioned before) I had my boppy around me and just had him laying there nursing as he pleased because he would nurse for a while, let go for maybe 5-10 minutes then latch back on. I would switch sides every so often to try and keep things even.

    We also had a different day the day before, we didn't make our usual babytime group that we go to Tuesday mornings because of the hurricane (I figured it would have been canceled as the website says if school is closed they are canceled but I later found out it did still go on). And then I just recently started a new class Tuesday nights so my df sister came over to babysit while I was gone. So maybe that is a contributing factor also??

    As far as support and such goes I don't have to much during the week, actually his sister coming over and baby sitting was the first time since he was born I've really had a break during the week. All our family and friends live at least 30 minutes away, and he works crazy hours so that I can stay home (12 hour nights, 5 days a week) When he is home and awake he helps out, but that is really only a couple hours a day. The weekends he tries to do most of the work, but I'm still the feeding source lol.

    What is everyone's opinion of the Moby wrap? I have been considering getting one but I'm really not too familiar with them, can you nurse while he's in that because I've heard that you can. Are there others that do that also? At this point all I have is an infantio carrier that was given to me, I had also gotten a sling at one point but apparently measured wrong because it doesn't even fit me let alone put him in it.

    So do you think it will make a difference to get him up at that 3am pumping time and nurse instead, and how will that end up affecting his sleeping patterns? I am still very determined in making this work but I want to make sure that we are doing things the right way. Or could this just be like mentioned a growth spurt, he would be just over 14 weeks now but I didn't notice anything at 12 weeks as far as more frequent feedings go, and that was right when we had gotten the hang of ebf.

    I also don't know if this will help but when he was born he was 6lb 13oz, and he was 13lb at his 2 month check up. He had gone from under the 50th percentile to between 50 and 75 I believe I was told, I have it written down around here somewhere.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    I think you need to let go of the mindset that things are going "Down hill" if your baby doesn't give you 2hour breaks between nursing sessions during the day. Or that there is anything that you can do to "correct it". Because you can't. You need to accept it as normal. ESPECIALLY considering the ridiculous LONG period of sleep he is getting and giving you at one time at night. Everyone here would have given their right eye to get anything over 3hours at that age. Also it's completely NORMAL to be with your baby nonstop all the time when they are very small. So while I appreciate that having a new baby can be very overwhelming and also isolating, it's all the way it's supposed to be. Really. You are supposed to breastfeed your infant and doing that is supposed to very literally keep you tethered to your child. I never spent the night away from my kid until he turned 6. I refused to go to my DH's Holiday parties for YEARS because I didn't want to be away from him for long periods of time. So I would encourage you to accept this as normal and appreciate it for what it is. Which is a VERY VERY SHORT period of time in your childs life where you are quite literally the end all be all. And you need this time. You do. You need it as a nursing dyad and it's how you and your child find your groove. It all changes and passes SO QUICKLY. Do not try to out run this process. The early supplementation set you back. It allowed you to think that LONGER periods of time between feedings were normal. They're not. They occur because of how much longer formula takes to digest. That's it. It's harder on their system, it takes longer to digest and it creates more waste because less of it gets absorbed. That's why he used to go longer between feeds. None of that is good for your kid. So you did the work and you are formula free. Formula free means things are absorbed much more quickly and much more completely. All that take LESS TIME and is GOOD NEWS! Rinse lather repeat. Don't tinker. Don't over think it. You can't fix it. Trust Mother nature. She kept us going as a species for millions of years on breastmilk alone. You ARE DOING IT. And you are doing it right. The way we all did it. You could be doing all this AND your baby could be waking every 1-3 hours all night long. And that would STILL be OK, normal and nothing that you could change. The only that you can be sure of the 1st year is that EVERYTHING is going to change every 4-6 weeks. Trust your body and your baby. This is what finding your groove looks like.
    I swore by the Moby. I could nurse him in it when he was very small, but it got harder as he grew. No matter though, he was usually asleep in it in a matter of minutes. Unless we were out and he was forward facing. But at home while choring he was usually out.

    Way too lazy for formula

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    I don't have a lot of advice to share, but I do want to give you some big kudos! You are amazing for your persistence and commitment to breastfeeding, to battle back from the bad advice and supply issues, and get to the point where you can exclusively breastfeed!

    As for keeping sane during the round-the-clock nursing, I empathize and it can be very demanding. I started to feel like a one woman dairy farm. But I managed by getting in some quality time with my Kindle (baby in one arm, Kindle in the other). I also queued up my DVR like it was going out of style (find a marathon rerun day for your favorite show, or go hog wild on netflix!). It's one of the few times you can spend hours catching up on a show and not feel guilty about spending all day on the couch! And I learned how to nurse in the Moby and later in the Ergo (if you search on youtube "how to nurse in a --- " you'll find lots of user how-tos). It can be done pretty discreetly in any inward-facing soft carrier -- once time I was nursing while at a sports game, standing around talking to friends, and they didn't even know it until I told them ;-) And the "dream feeding" suggestion is a good one ... my baby will latch and feed in his sleep, so that's a good way to keep the demand up overnight without having to use the pump.

    Keep it up mama, you're an inspiration!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    So while I appreciate that having a new baby can be very overwhelming and also isolating, it's all the way it's supposed to be.
    While I understand what you're trying to say here, and I agree with the underlying sentiment, I think we need to be really careful about statements like this. Maternal depression is a REAL phenomenon in our society, and has REAL longterm consequences for both mother and baby, possibly more so than breastfeeding versus bottlefeeding. I very much disagree (if that's what you were saying - that's what it sounds like to me, but possibly not what you meant) that mother and baby are supposed to stay cooped up together alone away from friends and family for months after the baby is born. That is what our society's structure often imposes on nursing moms, but it is most certainly NOT the way it is supposed to be. In traditional societies, nursing mothers do not stay cooped up inside their houses hiding from society (after a few weeks or so of recuperation from the birth that is). Such isolation can be devastating on nursing mothers, and it's not being selfish or anti-breastfeeding for us to own up to that. It's one thing to say "it's normal to feel isolated right now". It's quite another to say that it has to be that way. There are plenty of ways to address a nursing mother's need for a little social contact, a few minutes alone, etc., without interfering with the nursing relationship.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: A few questions about breastfeeding

    I think DJsMom is just trying to say that being with your baby all the time nursing at this point in his life is the way it's supposed to be to get your supply all set up, get into a groove, etc. While someone (like me for example!) may not be a pro at NIP, the best thing you can do for your baby is give them free reign to your boobies - no matter if they are 9 weeks or 9 months. They know what they are doing! I'm sure we all know the feeling of being isolated and having the boppy shackled to our body, but we really can figure out ways to get out and about. I just posted about it last week, actually... But, for example, I just found out that Baby's R Us has a nursing room (did anyone know that??) and it's located in the middle of all of my usually errand spots. So I can go to the store and then pop in there if I don't want to nurse DD in the car. But at 3 months, I think hmurphy your best bet is just listen to your DS and let him nurse the day away if he needs it. Something I also tell myself sometimes is that one day of "out of the ordinary" is not going to have some crazy negative effect on my baby. So it sounds like you pump okay, so if you need some daytime space, you could enlist a family member to give him a bottle of EBM.

    Have you tried dream feeding? Like just picking him up asleep and popping him on to eat? I know my LO can't do that, she wakes up, but your boy might! And then you don't have to pump and he might give you a little break in the day time! But really, he seems like he's doing normal things. My 9 month old eats every 1 - 2.5 hrs in the day and every 3 at night!

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