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Thread: need advice on a couple issues

  1. #1

    Default need advice on a couple issues

    I think I have a couple different issues going on but I'm hoping for some advice. My son is 5 weeks and I've been breastfeeding exclusively with the exception of a couple supplements in the hospital.
    I have flat nipples and have been using a shield. I've tried without the shield and can't get a latch. I start with the shield and take it off after he pulls my nipple into it but it disappears when I take the shield off. Any tips?
    I want to pump so I have something that someone else can give him so I can finally leave the house. I'm going back to work but not for two months, so I'm not that worried about stocking up yet. I've tried pumping after feedings but I barely get 1/2 an ounce. I feel he's nursing constantly so I don't know when to pump or what is normal to get from pumping. I also don't want to pump in between feedings (if I can find time) because I feel like I'm taking it from his next feeding. When do babies get away from constantly feeding?
    I'm also haunting myself with the idea that I don't have enough milk. Sometimes I feel full but not always. He can nurse for an hour and still want to nurse. When he falls asleep or comes off the breast he's then giving me cues again in 5-10 minutes. He also likes to use me as a pacifier sometimes which I try not to do. He has plenty of wet diapers. Usually one or two poops a day. He's gaining weight, but not a lot. Birth weight 8lb 4oz, day 4 7lb 14oz, 8lbs 8 oz at 2 weeks and now 8lb 13oz.
    He seems to have issues with gas. Grunty, groany crying which do or don't eventually yield results. I feel bad because I blame what I eat for the gas.
    I'd love any and all advice! I keep hearing from family members that he is starved, have reflux, needs formula, etc - I try to tell myself they're wrong, but are they?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: need advice on a couple issues

    Hi and welcome to the forum!

    You are the best judge of what is right for your baby. So unless your relatives are pediatricians or lactation consultants, or breastfed thier own babies themselves for longer than 5 weeks, thier opinions, though well meant, are not very useful. kwim?

    You can best tell if a baby is getting enough 1st by weight gain and then by poop output.

    Weight loss/gain appears perfectly normal for a breastfed infant until 2 weeks. The only weight gain I have a concern about is the one between 2 and 5 weeks. If I am understanding this, you are saying your baby gained only 5 ounces in 3 weeks-21 days? That would indeed be considered a quite low weight gain. About a third of what is average I think. What did the doctor say?

    were the 2 week and 5 week weights done on the same scale? were previous weights done on the same scale? how has output (poops) been?

    If weight gain is endeed very slow, the next thing to figure out is why is that happening? It may be a production issue, or it may be that your baby is unable to transfer milk well-which can happen in situations when a sheild is being used. Or it may be because baby is not nursing frequently enough overall. (it could also be a combination of factors.) A baby this age should nurse a minimum of 10 times a 24 hour day. More often is fine, and if there is slow weight gain the easiest thing to try is to increaase the frequency of nursing sessions. LET you baby comfort nurse aka use you as a pacifier. This is normal breastfed baby behavior and works to help ensure baby gets enough milk. Yes it can feel like baby is nursing constantly. That is how it typically feels in the early weeks. The problem is if baby is really nursing that much and not gaining well.

    I would strongly suggest you see a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) for a private consultation. Have you looked into this at all? I suggest this because the fact you need to use sheilds AND baby is possibly not gaining well indicates there may be a milk transfer issue, and it's important to figure out if its that, or low production, or a combo, etc, so you can approach the problem effectively.

    Will you need to supplement with formula? That is a call you need to make with your hcp. But even if you do, remember formula is like a medicine that treats the symptom of low weight gain. It should be used only when and as truly needed for only as long as needed. It does not solve the problem, and my guess is the problem is very solvable since baby can latch, (even with a sheild, this is good) is gaining and in fact gained well up until 2 weeks.
    These early weeks are the hardest, yes, it is time consuming to nurse a baby 10-16 times a day. But this is how it works, biologically.

    Is the reason you cannot go anywhere because you are concerned about nursing in public with a sheild? Or just nip in general?

    At this point do not worry about gas or what you eat, except eating a normal relatively healthy diet and drinking enough water (drinking-water, preferably, whenever you are thirsty,) which would typically be very often. Also don't worry about how much volume you pump. For a mom nursing around the clock, 1/2 ounce could be considered low/normal, but so much depends on your pump and it's condition and your personal response to the pump. I alsp would suggest that if you do pump anything, it is fed to your baby as a supplement-as in addition to a feeding at the breast, not instead-until that weight gain improves.

  3. #3

    Default Re: need advice on a couple issues

    Thanks for the advice! Yes he only gained 5 oz in 3 weeks. Had a consultation today with an IBCLC, I feel we're on a better track now.

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