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Thread: At the end of my rope...

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    6,562

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    I'm sorry you're feeling so stressed out about all of this! I wonder if you could try another visit with a different lactation consultant? Or maybe call up your local La Leche League Leader? I understand why you would be worried about your baby with the early issues, but it really sounds like your supply might be on target right now. If I understand what you are saying, though, about the other day - you nursed her for 24 hours, and she got two 3 ounce bottles - one of which you pumped that same day? So you only supplemented her with 3 ounces on top of what you actually produced that day? And in all that time she acted normal, had normal diaper output?

    My first daughter nursed pretty much around the clock for months. She would nurse 2.5 out of every 3 hours. She would nurse and sleep on the boppy, latched on or just next to the breast. I sat on the couch for the first four months of her life, at which time I had to go back to work.

    Also... about your husband being in the middle. He should not be "in the middle." When you guys got married, you formed a new family unit. You and him. And now you have your baby. His loyalty should be to you and your baby and the way that you two want to handle parenting. His mother does not get a say.
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    It's hard to know what happened early on, but with all the hard work you've done nursing and pumping, it sounds like you now have a good supply - a bit hard to judge from the diapers since you're intermittently giving her formula, but your pump output is exactly where it should be at 1 ounce/hour. It seems like your biggest enemies right now are 1) other people's comments; 2) your own anxiety (due in part to those comments); 3) formula. I understand why you are worried because of the slow weight gain early on but it really seems like right now you could do it on your own. The formula is only going to get in the way because each time she has formula, she's not at the breast stimulating your supply, and since the formula sits in her tummy longer, it's also delaying the NEXT cue to your breasts to make more milk. You need to get rid of the formula. You are perfectly capable of breastfeeding this baby! And you don't know what size she is "supposed" to be. Yes, you and your husband are tall. So she may be tall too. But maybe she won't. Time will tell. Finally, I agree with Tracie that her sleep patterns sound totally normal for a 4 month old. Trying to alter normal sleep patterns by giving substandard nutrition (ie formula) - does that make sense?
    You can do this mama - you've already shown yourself to be very determined to make this work. Talk to your husband and get him on board. And ignore everyone else. And nurse, nurse, nurse and watch the diapers. I think you'll be fine!

    ETA: don't do exclusive pumping. Much harder in the long run than nursing.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,925

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    You have many options, but when a mom is 'in the weeds" like this it is very hard to visualize them. One option would be to keep nursing as much as possible but supplement as needed, this is an option many moms take and it works for them. Breastfeeding may not last as long, but it certainly this is a much healthier alternative for baby than straight formula.

    But if you want to aim for exclusive breastfeeding, or something close to it, I agree with pp. Can you find a breastfeeding helper who will support you while you wean off supplements (assuming that is what you want to do?) What about a different doctor who will be more supportive of your desire to exclusively breastfeed? IF a breastfed baby is not gaining OK, it is because baby is not getting enough breastmilk OR there is an underlying medical issue. So from the beginning, (in an ideal world) much more proactive steps should have been taken by your hcp to understand what was going on with breastfeeding that baby was not gaining well, IF baby was truly gaining as poorly as the scale suggested.

    I don't know what to make of that weight gain history. I don't understand how a baby who was having adequate stooling in the early weeks was actually losing weight. It does not make sense. But it may be time to temporarily leave aside all that came before and focus on the here and now. What type of daily or weekly weight gain "should" a 4 month old be having? I am not even sure. But that may be where the focus can go.

    Do you have to be away from baby, for work, etc? do you have other kids, other responsibilities, that cannot be put aside for a little bit? Because I wonder if, under the care of a supportive doctor or IBCLC, you took, say, two weeks for an extended nursing vacation, nursing and ONLY nursing, no bottles, no pacifiers, no pumping...,with maybe one weight check a week, what would happen? If I am understanding things correctly, your baby sounds very healthy overall with the weight gain the only health concern, and you feel you are able to produce a pretty good amount of milk. You are an experienced mom at this point, so if baby was truly in danger of getting into trouble due to not getting enough, I think it would be obvious and of course you would then have the option to supplement.

    But things like baby taking a bottle after nursing, how much baby takes in the bottle, and seeming to 'prefer' the bottle, are typical in a 'combination' fed baby and mean little or anything about if baby is getting enough. And cluster nursing, fussing, wanting to nurse/not wanting to nurse, nursing different 'ways' and durations at different times and very short sleep stretches are all normal and may have nothing at all to do with baby needing more than you can provide at the breast. IN particular 4 months old is a tricky time for many breastfed babies and they tend to nurse 'weird' at this age.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Central New York
    Posts
    134

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    Hi Mama! I am in complete agreement with bfwmomof3 - ditch the formula. Throw it out, dump it down the toilet, just get rid of it. If you think your DD is still hungry after a feeding, then keep her on your breast. Her nursing or you pumping is the only way you are going to make more milk, and giving her formula will only hurt your efforts. Add in a feeding if you can, try nursing every 1.5 hours if you think she'll take it. To get her to gain weight, she needs more milk - so offer your boob more and hopefully you'll see you supply stay strong and see her put on some chub

    I have had anxiety about my BF journey with my daughter from day 4 of her life. It took many many months of crying and arguments and comments and all sorts of stuff to get me to just accept that she IS who she IS, little and lean and perfect. Forget other people's comments. I am 5'7 and weigh, well, more than I should let's put it that way lol. My DH is 5'11 and is around 190. My DD is 10 months and she weighs 17# 5oz. She's VERY skinny, all muscle and I have been worrying about it for MONTHS until the wonderful ladies here helped me get over that anxiety. My daughter will likely walk before her 1st birthday, can say all sorts of words, do some baby sign language and is the happiest little thing you've ever seen. If your LO is meeting milestones and is a generally happy baby, I think you are in pretty good shape!!!

    You can do this I know this it seems so hard right this moment, but you will be happy that you fought through it and kept going. Your baby will thank you!

    Sleeping patterns sound normal, DD hasn't slept more than a 4 hour stretch since she was 10 weeks old. They change their patterns as time goes on, as they try new thing and learn new skills. It will get better

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    Hi mama. I just wanted to share my experience. I'm hoping it may be helpful, since our experiences don't seem too different.

    When DS was born in Aug, he wasn't gaining weight or pooping, despite feeding on demand and doing everything i was "supposed" to do. Finally after a few weeks of not gaining, I started supplementing. I also was overfeding him for a while. I thought he would "tell" me when he was done, but he just ate and ate and ate until the food ran out, and even then would carry on as if he'd never eaten before, wanting more. When we took him to the doc after beginning to supplement he had gained a lot of weight, very quickly. We started cutting back on teh supplement immediately. I bought a scale and started doing before adn after weigh ins for a few days to get an idea of how much he was getting from me, and then supplemented with a little bit of formula. His weight gain continued to be normal, so I cut back his supplement even more, to the point where he was only gettng about 4oz of supplement per day. He continued to gain well. Well, finally, after returning to work, I cut out all supplement and his weigh gain slowed. He was also gaining less than 3oz/ week. But, the wonderful thing is, adding just one nursing session at night put him back on the path of healthy weight gain. it could be that simple. My DS gained 16oz in 6 weeks before we added that extra nursing session, and then 11oz in two weeks after we added the extra session. So, I guess I share this to let you know that it may be that simple. My son doesn't nap well for me either. The one thing I've foudn that helps is either swaddling him, or putting him in a sleep sack before a nursing session so he gets nice and cozy and falls asleep. Once asleep I let him lay in my arms for 10-15min and then slowly put him down in his crib. Maybe it'll work...?

    Good luck, mama.

    ETA: I have to dream feed DS for the added nursing session. He never "asks" to feed at that time, I have to initiate that feeding every day.
    Last edited by @llli*alilwest; December 20th, 2012 at 03:14 PM.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    Thank you for your encouragement, ladies! I am fortunate to be a stay at home mom and don't have many commitments. I decided to take a temporary break from things because I was feeling stressed trying to be places at certain times. This week I actually only left the house once for an appointment and to get groceries because I wanted to be able to sleep when she did and nurse her when she wanted to for as long as she wanted. I think it has helped. I printed out the kellymom sample log for weaning off of formula supplements, and I've read a good amount of information on that site. She has a weight check at the drs office on Jan 4th. At the moment, she seems to be right at 12 pounds. Not sure how accurate my scale is, but I originally got it to try and do pre and post feed weights. My husband wants to be go talk to another lactation consultant, not sure who I will be seeking out yet. I do not know what to make of the weight gain history either, but it is definitely true that we need to move on from that and start from where we are now.

    This is what we did today...
    Nursed in bed overnight.
    Woke up 3:30, 5:00, 7:00
    9:00am woke up, nursed in bed, got up
    10:30am nursed for 45 minutes, she slept and ate
    12:15pm nursed for 15 min, pumped 10 min got .25oz
    1:15pm nursed napping in bed for 45 min, pumped 8 min got .50oz
    3:15pm nursed 5 min, fussy, didn't eat much
    3:50pm nursed 45 min, fussy, sleep and eat
    5:33pm nursed 15 min, pumped 7 min got .25oz
    6:00pm fussy in swing, fell asleep, still sleeping at 6:45

    I will probably give her the ounce that I pumped sometime tonight after nursing maybe? What do you think? I'm hoping that will help. I probably can't get away with not giving her a bottle at all unless the doctor or a lactation nurse gives us the okay, but if I can get one with just my milk in it, then hopefully will help get things back on track and get her gaining a little more?

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    I didn't end up giving her the one ounce bottle of my pumped milk because I forgot.

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: At the end of my rope...

    That's great that you are focusing on nursing! Your daytime nursing pattern sounds great, though I'm wondering what happens between 6 pm and 3 am? Is she feeding between then as well? I think it's a good idea to give her the pumped milk, at least until you know you are on track with her weight gain with exclusive nursing and as you get her off the formula. How is her diaper output?

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