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Thread: 3 weeks and still frustrated

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    14

    Default 3 weeks and still frustrated

    Breastfeeding has been difficult and not very therapeutic for my baby and me from day one. She wasn't gaining weight at first and I had to supplement while breastfeeding, which was messy and a pain. Finally, she gained better but would not stay away for the first week. Between undressing her, trying to get her to wake up, and trying to get her to latch we pretty much nursed 24/7 the first week and a half. I discovered I have oversupply and forceful let down. I've seen a lactating specialist several times. We have tried everything from leaning way back to nurse, pumping, many positions, block nursing, letting the letdown into a rag ect. Finally we have gotten better at nursing, but only sometimes. I have gotten my supply down some and I finally don't get engorged, but I have found breast feeding to still be frustrating. She nurses really well in the afternoons and early evening feedings, but the nighttime and early mornings are horrible. She is constantly unlatching due to my let down (but somehow during the day she manages this fine), she refuses to latch for several minutes at a time, and she cries and fusses a lot. It takes us sometimes at least an hour to nurse, and then 30 minutes to get her to sleep, and then shes ready to nurse again in another 30 mins. (shes nurses every 2 hours). I hardly get any sleep at night and get very irritable. It's interfering with my bonding relationship with my baby to be honest. Every bad nursing experience we have I swear I'm going to start exclusively pumping but I never do because I keep hoping things will improve. I will eventually have to introduce a bottle since I'm going back to work, but I want to hold out at least to 4 weeks. Does anyone else seem to have this problem where their baby nurses well only some of the time? And I'm looking for any advice I can get to help with the forceful let down, I feel horrible for my baby to have to learn to drink so fast, she seems miserable when she eats, but what other choices does she have than to starve. We have to burp constantly and she gets horrible gas and stomach cramps

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,598

    Default Re: 3 weeks and still frustrated

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby, and on making it through those first intensely frustrating weeks of breastfeeding! And they are frustrating, they really are. Especially when you're a first-time mom or first-time breastfeeder, who doesn't yet know from experience that things WILL improve if you just keep plugging, and especially if your baby isn't a perfect nurser right off the bat.

    It sounds like you've made absolutely marvelous progress, so please pat yourself on the back. Getting through supplementing and extreme newborn sleepiness is a real challenge. Now you only have to deal with the fussiness and oversupply. 2 challenges down, 2 to go, right?

    It's REALLY common to have a baby who nurses well during certain times of day, and not so well at others. There are various causes for this issue, including supply fluctuations, developmental reasons, positioning problems, and others I am not thinking of right now. So, supply fluctuations: these are really common. A lot of moms have the most milk at night and in the wee hours of the morning, and the least in the later hours of the day and into the evening. For moms with oversupply, this sometimes means that the baby struggles most with the flow at night. For moms with more average supply, this can mean that the baby struggles most in the afternoon/evening, when the flow is slowest. Developmental reasons are another common explanation for fussiness, particularly evening fussiness. A lot of new babies go through periods of extreme fussing in the evenings, so much so that it is often more properly described as colic.

    At this point, what signs of oversupply are you seeing? Are you still frequently engorged? Engorged only for parts of the day? Are you block feeding any longer?
    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
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: 3 weeks and still frustrated

    Hang in there. There is nothing "theraputic" about breastfeeding in the beginning. This period of time is hard and overwhelming for EVERYONE who does it. But like pregnancy and birth it's both temporary and a worthy investment of your time in to having a healthy child and a thriving nursing relationship. Most people spent the 1st 6-12 weeks on the couch in their PJs feeding the baby. That is your only real job right now. Is to let her learn how to nurse and regulate your supply. The problem is with the idea that you should be doing ANYTHING ELSE all day long. Wake up with just that goal in mind. FEED THE BABY. Don't think while you are feeding her about all the OTHER STUFF that you should/could be doing. Let go of that. The housework will wait. Have your DH bring home take out. Clean house on the weekends when you have help. Set up a nursing station and PLAN to be there most of the day. Bring your phones, lap top, remotes, books, magazines and snacks. I got up to pee, change diapers and get more food. That's it.
    Your expectations are unrealistic. It sounds like you are doing FINE. She is COPING with OALD and isn't strikng or rejecting you. Gas is normal. And I know it's hard to do yet but you need to learn to rest when the baby is sleeping. Because you aren't going to fit your new baby into your old life. So sleep as you knew it up to 3weeks ago is OVER. Forever. Not really forever. But long enough that you shouldn't be thinking it's going to get better any time soon. It's not. Your baby's stomach is the size of a grape. Breastmilk is being very quickly absorbed into her rapidly growing tissue and organs. She will double her birthweight and brain fucntion in the next 6months. She is going to need to refuel to do that around the clock. So HANG IN THERE. It's hard. And overwhelming. And time consuming. And totally worth it. You will NEVER be sorry you stick with it. AND once you are back at work the recconnecting via nursing will become SO important. So for this preciious small amount of time you have to just be with your baby, embrace it. Let her get to know you and establish your milk supply and allow the two of you to find your nursing groove. It's the best thing for both of you. Promise.

    Way too lazy for formula

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
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    14

    Default Re: 3 weeks and still frustrated

    My engorgement has went away. I was getting it still in the evenings (a few days ago she'd go every 3 in the evenings), but since she's decided on every 2 hours recently I haven't had any problems with it. As for block feedings, the last couple days since my supply has slowed some I haven't had to block feed anymore, I've actually gotten her to start nursing on both breasts. (maybe ten mins on the first, a few mins of the second) and she does really well with both during the day, and really struggles with the second due to the fast let down in the night. I know I still have a fast let down because I can hear her gulping, choking, coughing and she pulls off a lot of times when it starts (I have at least 2 per breast per session) and it sprays, so then i usually catch in in a burp rag for a bit and then put her back on (shes freaking out while I do this because she's hungry). She pulls off a lot in the evening and if i can get her to burp she'll usually latch back on, but if I can't get her to burp she's fussy and wont continue nursing, but is still hungry. When she does nurse well on the second breast in the evenings it's hard for me to tell if she's done a lot of times because she will usually get sleepy or stop sucking so I will take her off and burp her and she's usually still sleepy. Then I go to put her in her sleep sack to lay her down and.. the minute she lays on her back boom she's wide awake again, so I try to put her back on that breast again and sometimes if she will take it, but she usually has a horrible latch she fusses and doesn't really nurse well on it. Then she gets frustrated and it's really hard to get her to go back to sleep (so I can go to sleep). I can't nurse her in her sleep sack because it's too bulky for me to get her to the breast well (I'm hardly an A cup), otherwise I'd just slip her into her crib when she fell asleep.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    COUGARTOWN Baby! From here on in!
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    Default Re: 3 weeks and still frustrated

    Are you trying to just lay her in her crib while sleepy? Perhaps you need to hold her until she is asleep.

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: 3 weeks and still frustrated

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*cmom311 View Post
    My engorgement has went away. I was getting it still in the evenings (a few days ago she'd go every 3 in the evenings), but since she's decided on every 2 hours recently I haven't had any problems with it. As for block feedings, the last couple days since my supply has slowed some I haven't had to block feed anymore, I've actually gotten her to start nursing on both breasts. (maybe ten mins on the first, a few mins of the second) and she does really well with both during the day, and really struggles with the second due to the fast let down in the night. I know I still have a fast let down because I can hear her gulping, choking, coughing and she pulls off a lot of times when it starts (I have at least 2 per breast per session) and it sprays, so then i usually catch in in a burp rag for a bit and then put her back on (shes freaking out while I do this because she's hungry). She pulls off a lot in the evening and if i can get her to burp she'll usually latch back on, but if I can't get her to burp she's fussy and wont continue nursing, but is still hungry. When she does nurse well on the second breast in the evenings it's hard for me to tell if she's done a lot of times because she will usually get sleepy or stop sucking so I will take her off and burp her and she's usually still sleepy. Then I go to put her in her sleep sack to lay her down and.. the minute she lays on her back boom she's wide awake again, so I try to put her back on that breast again and sometimes if she will take it, but she usually has a horrible latch she fusses and doesn't really nurse well on it. Then she gets frustrated and it's really hard to get her to go back to sleep (so I can go to sleep). I can't nurse her in her sleep sack because it's too bulky for me to get her to the breast well (I'm hardly an A cup), otherwise I'd just slip her into her crib when she fell asleep.
    I certainly don't have all the answers, but one solution that has worked for both of my sons is co-sleeping, especially at this young age. My sense is that they are so used to being so close to you for the last nine months, that sleeping apart can be really challenging. We don't co-sleep for a long period but the first 4-6 weeks is a time that really works for us. My son is snuggled right up to me, often with my hand physically on him, and it seems to settle him in to sleeping more. We then do a sort of graduated transfer to a bassinet in the room (first side-car next to the bed so that I can snuggle or rest a hand on him, then move bassinet slightly farther and farther away, til he's in the room with us, but not right close) until about 6 months or so when we transfer to another room. I re-read your post; it's not clear whether you are cosleeping or not, but just an idea.
    Ellen

    Mama-surgeon;
    DS Ethan 12/16/2008
    Breast fed/pumped 11 months as a surgical resident, 80 hours a week at work
    DS Abram Daniel 12/20/2012
    Feel like we've gotten a strong start

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: 3 weeks and still frustrated

    you are doing great!!! hang in there. I had an oversupply and very heavy letdown with mine. it's hard but it does and will get easier... really. it might take a while but every week you nurse gets ever easier. my LO nursed every hour for months. mostly I just sat around in my pjs and watch Netflix and nurse. can someone come over and help you for a few hours so you can get a nap in? can you try a lighter weight sleep sack? maybe a swaddle instead? something that cuts out a step for you. hang in there. it's so worth it!

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