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Thread: my whole day is feeding

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    orange.county.ca
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    Default my whole day is feeding

    This is ridiculous. So I don't want to have to repeat my mantra of my sad situation all over again but I have low supply due to hypoplasia..ok, I cant just breastfeed so I supplement...I use an SNS on th breast every feed. My supply continued dropping for the 3 rd week I am at 10 oz a day now. That means I have to supplement 20 oz of formula on the sns. Its not happening. I have a baby who has figured out he hates the sns tube he refuses to take it so I spend a good 20 minutes waiting for him to take it at each feeding. It has been suggested I use a bottle I have tried 3 types all low flow and he doesn't know what to do with them he just sits there biting the nipples and looking at me while formula pours down his face. If he gets any down he barfs it up.

    I was told at my last post to feed him more often to help my supply. I figured every 3 hours was doing fine but I upper it to every 2 hours....THIS MEANS I GET A HALF HOUR INBETWEEN FEEDINGS! DOES THAT SOUND NORMAL! Its not...I know my situation isn't average and few of you have done what I am doing but this is nuts! I cant handle it. The only thing my son does at feedings is cry until he accepts the tube with the nipple and falls asleep from exhaustion because of the struggle...then it takes him a good hour to eat. In my half hour of down time I wash my sns, pee, change my baby, sometimes I get to scarf something down, I switch laundry and I freak out about all that I have to get ready for the next feeding. Even with feeding him every 2 hours he often wont take enough formula to accumulate 20 oz a day. So he isn't even eating all he needs to...he should be getting 35ish with his weight and formula ratio. He is not gaining at this point....he is where he should be weight wise but for the last. 3 weeks he has been screaming about the sns. I have tried to teach him how to bottle feed for two weeks now and its not working its making it all worse and I am wasting pricey formula.

    I cant deal with this kind of schedule, all my sisters successfully breastfeeding multiple children and they never had to feed a baby every 2 hours to keep up milk production! Why was this even suggested? My baby isn't even hungry every 2 hours at almost 5 months, especially with formula. What do I do? I don't have time to pump on this kind of schedule so increasing my supply that way just isn't happening. I think I am following some nutty advice trying to feed a 4.5 month old every two hours to increase milk supply. I am losing it doing this!

    I think I'm just going to go back to feeding him every 3&1/2 hours pumping inbetween and do my own thing. If I dry up nobody can say I didn't try everything.. I hope I don't but I have no life...cant clean or leave the house and am MISERABLE!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    1,710

    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    Oh man, I'm sorry you're having such a rough time.

    I vaguely remember your previous post, but not the details, so apologize if i'm asking you to repeat. Have you tried cup feeding or spoon feeding? Do you know how much he is getting directly from the nursing? Do you have someone working with you to make sure what milk is there is getting transferred well? It's possible your supply is such that he doesn't need 20 oz of formula anymore? Feeding every 2 hours IS typical for a 5 month old (and even older), but that's assuming no supplementing. I definitely think if your goal is to up your production, feeding at the breast AT LEAST every two hours is the way to go. But if that's not working for you for other reasons, it's a whole lot better to go back to something that was at least sort of working than to give up entirely. But if you're feeding from the pump, isn't that just as difficult as supplementing with formula?

    REALLY try not to worry about the housecleaning - you should SEE my house right now, with a 2-month-old, and that's without dealing with supply issues. It's a temporary thing. Someday there will be time to clean again.

    I don't remember your situation, so forgive me if this is off-base, but could you try for a couple days just nixing the supplementing altogether, or at least cutting down, not doing it every time? It seems like a lot of what is causing it to take so long and to frustrate your little one is the SNS - if you took that out of the equation entirely, it's possible things would get easier?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,117

    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    Mama, I think at this point you have an opportunity to decide what really matters to you. Is it maximizing the amount of breastmilk you can give your baby? Is it finding the easiest path forward? Or is it some compromise position between those two extremes?

    If you want to maximize the amount of milk you can give your baby, well, then I think you've gotten good advice here. It's all supply and demand, nurse more, pump more, hang in there with the SNS, etc. Not an easy road forward.

    If you want to take an easier path and breastfeed only a little or not at all... Well, even this set of choices has some obstacles. The first one would be getting baby to accept the bottle. Try having someone other than you give the bottle, since breastfed babies often hate taking a bottle from mom, since they know she has the "real" thing under her shirt. The second obstacle would be trying to decide how much effort you want to put into nursing and pumping, in order to maintain the supply you have. It can be a lot of work, but if you nurse or pump part-time, you will still give your baby the health benefits of breastmilk and/or breastfeeding, and you will get the health benefits as well.

    The two things I want to assure you of are, one, that it is completely normal for a baby to eat every 1-2 hours, no matter what your sisters experienced, and two, that having no life aside from caring for the baby is also very normal... At least in our society, which isolates new moms in such a fundamental way.

    I think it's fine to go back to nursing every 3.5 hours and pumping to increase supply. Ordinarily, getting a mom to nurse more, and more often, would be a ticket to increased supply. But if it didn't work for you, that's okay- though I have to suspect that something may be going on with your baby's ability to transfer milk. The fact that you nursed more and supply went down... It implies that something may be going on beyond the hypoplasia, YKWIM? Anyway, if it didn't work, just try something else. If you can sneak in some extra pump sessions, it will probably help a lot: most working moms and most exclusively pumping moms need to hook themselves up around every 2-3 hours in order to maintain supply.
    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!"

  4. #4
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    Oops, sorry, I see that you did say you had a reason for the 20 oz number. I still think it might be worth taking a couple days to cut down on the supplementing and see if it helps - less frustration for you and the baby and he might be more accepting of the nursing and manage to get more because he's less frustrated. And/or try other ways of supplementing like cup or spoon feeding. I agree with everyone mommal said - you gotta decide what you can manage, and whatever you decide is best for you and the baby is the right choice. But nursing every 1-2 hours IS normal. What's NOT normal is all the level of suffering you are doing to make that happen for you and your baby...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    orange.county.ca
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    117

    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    I dont mean to sound so nasty, so excuse me if i do i am really really unhappy.
    My supply isn't getting better its worse. Supplementing IS necessary and with formula its more as they gain weight. He doesn't transfer well because he falls asleep at 90% of his feedings now. He doesn't have time for a nap on this stupid schedule so he fusses and is sleepy at every feeding. I have tried cup feeding I just get that confused look as he coughs and sputters and wastes more formula. I know I don't make enough milk as it is so I don't want to starve him by refusing him supplementary food, wouldn't that just make him crankier and shrink his stomach making it harder to get larger quantities of food later. I cant afford for him to lose weight, my pediatrician already has me on his blacklist and I don't want any flac from him about his weight. I cant breastfeed every 2 hours. My baby isn't hungry, he just refuses to eat...he doesn't suck well and he gets upset if I position him where he cant see things. This does not work for someone who HAS TO SUPPLEMENT given the filling nature of formula.

    My baby doesn't seem to be able to stay awake during feedings enough to stimulate milk flow at all...if I don't compress...he wouldn't trigger letdowns on his own. He is a lazy feeder. I am just going crazy. I am not going to try to emulate normal BF mothers who feed every 2 hours. That's not what I am and its not what my baby wants. I am a hybrid...I am not like other nursing mothers or like other formula feeding mothers. I feel like nobody's advice from either side is accurate. Unless someone has done what I am doing and has a baby who wont eat well, I don't think its possible to understand the complexities.

    I am going to leave the house for the rest of the night and try to let my husband feed him with a bottle when he gets hungry. I need to calm down and stop hating everything. I am so upset with this whole situation, I'd give anything just to be able to nurse like other mothers. I wish someone would give me their breastmilk so I could feel less awful about supplementing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    No apologies necessary. You are the expert in what you are going through. I can only give suggestions and support and you take them or leave them. I haven't been where you are now, but I HAVE felt the frustration of supply issues with a previous child. They can be overwhelming even when it's just a few months - you've been dealing with this for a long time now.

    I hear you on needing to supplementing. But it just sounds to me based on what you are describing right now that the SNS is contributing to the problem. I was thinking it might work to try a couple days where you lessened that frustration. A 5-month-old who is at a good weight right now and is getting some milk is not going to starve in a couple days. But you know your situation much better than me, you won't get an argument from me on that. I'm not offended if you don't think it's a good idea.

    There are plenty of moms out there who are "hybrids" for all sorts of different reasons. You do what works and what you can handle and that's all you can do.

  7. #7
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    Feb 2007
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    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    I should add that I think you're right - there is more going on with your complex situation than we can totally understand on these forums. I definitely don't want to be adding to your frustration by giving you advice that you find unhelpful or annoying. We tend to try to troubleshoot problems when people post here and sometimes you're just looking for support, or a shoulder to cry on, so apologies if I misread that.

    If it helps, I have given my child formula and so have plenty of other moms on these forums - most of us ended up here because something wasn't going well, after all. Giving a baby formula when you can't give them enough breastmilk is nothing to be ashamed of.

    I hope things start to get easier for you soon.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    orange.county.ca
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    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    Ugh, so I've calmed down a little. I am going to try just breastfeeding for a day to give myself a break from the sns and screaming. I think when he is hungry and happy he feeds better. I just started switching him back and forth between breasts and each time he triggered a letdown and this was after the regular feed time he gets on each one normally. I just kept switching and they kept draining further. After an hour of that my breasts were the emptiest they have felt in a long long time. If I can do this every other hour for a day or two and offer him a supplement if he gets fussy...I think its worth a go. I guess he wont starve in a day or two and he cant get any fussier. I haven't tried switching him so much before and I'm interested in how the constant draining can work....

    I would have given up long ago if it hadn't been for his face when he sees its time to eat and the obvious health benefits. I hope things get better...my husband thinks ive gone crazy and that I shouldn't have more kids. He comes from a formula feeding family that is almost all male...so he has no idea what's going on except that he sees both me and the baby crying all the time.

    Thanks so much for the support. I do want advice its just I want the answer to desend from the sky surrounded by Angela and golden light and I want the answer to be simple, easy and increase my supply to 45 oz a day. Its silly but that's really what I want...ok, maybe 60 oz a day so I can save lots and lots!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,117

    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*diymom View Post
    I do want advice its just I want the answer to desend from the sky surrounded by Angela and golden light and I want the answer to be simple, easy and increase my supply to 45 oz a day. Its silly but that's really what I want...ok, maybe 60 oz a day so I can save lots and lots!
    I remember feeling this same way when my first was a newborn and I was struggling with torn-up nipples and a low supply. It was the hardest thing in the world to realize that breastfeeding didn't have an easy fix, and that only my baby and I had any chance to fix what was broken about it. I dearly wanted someone to wave a magic wand and make my troubles disappear!

    I have to say that going through that painful realization- that only I had any control over this situation, that no-one could help me but me- was something that was really important to me as a person. Because life is full of challenges that other people can't fix for you. Only you can get yourself across the finish line of the marathon. Only you can climb to the top of the mountain. Only you can sit in the meeting with the boss and ask for a raise. And only you can let yourself off the guilt hook when youhave tried your absolute best and still not achieved the desired result.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Dallas, TX
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    256

    Default Re: my whole day is feeding

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*diymom View Post
    I hope things get better...my husband thinks ive gone crazy and that I shouldn't have more kids. He comes from a formula feeding family that is almost all male...so he has no idea what's going on except that he sees both me and the baby crying all the time.
    to your DH. You're doing a good job, mama.

    My DH was utterly unprepared too. He gave me the "out" several times to switch to formula. My DD had tongue tie, a high palate, and a weak suck, which of course all culminated into a milk transfer issue. We saw a speech language pathologist who gave us some feeding tips and strengthening exercises for her mouth and lips, but really it was just time before she grew out of it. But she always liked to comfort nurse, so the round-the-clock feeding didn't seem to end until she got better with solids, like 8 months.

    It sounds like you are taking it day and by day and that's great. But I agree with mommal, if you decide to quit breastfeeding, which is a decision only you can make, try to let go of any guilt or negative feelings. It's not worth it...this time passes so quickly!! s
    Lisa

    Mom to Aimee, born 8/22/11
    for 20 months!

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