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Thread: Breastfeeding and possibly pumping???

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    3

    Question Breastfeeding and possibly pumping???

    Hello,

    I am the new mommy of a four day old baby girl. She is on no schedule whatsoever when it comes to nursing. I have been breastfeeding her and have not had any serious problems, aside from her only nursing for about 10-15 minutes, pushing my breast away and within 5-10 minutes, she is looking for it again. Also, because of her sporadic want/need for nursing, my breasts are extremely tender and quite painful (I'm assuming because she isn't nursing for extended periods of time as I had hoped), so my question is, should I pump and feed her with a bottle as well, to alleviate some breast pain, or will the nipple of the bottle only confuse her with mine? I'm not quite sure what to do, or if anyone has any other alternatives to rid myself of this tenderness, I would greatly appreciate it!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,266

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and possibly pumping???

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby girl!

    The first thing I have to say is that it is absolutely ideal that your brand new newborn is not on a schedule! Schedules are the enemy of breastfeeding success. Milk supply is created and maintained by the baby's demand, and any time a mom spaces her baby's feedings out to some artificial interval, she's setting herself up for trouble. Restrict demand and you will decree supply. Of you talk to the moms of intensively schedules babies, you will often discover that breastfeeding worked okay for the first few months, but then the mom's supply "mysteriously" dried up and they had to start supplementing with formula. So stay away from schedules! When your baby is a little older, you can aim for a flexible but consistent routine where events like wake-up, naps, sleep, bath, tummy time, etc. happen roughly around the same time, while baby continues to feed whenever she wants.

    The second thing I strongly suggest is to stay away from pumps and bottles for the next few weeks!!! Right now, when your baby is brand-new, you have the absolute best opportunity to get breastfeeding going right. The baby is just starting to learn how to latch and nurse efficiently. Artificial nipples can screw that learning process up, because babies latch onto and drink from bottles completely differently from the way they do from the breast. Many babies who get bottles early on become confused by the ease of bottle-feeding and start rejecting the breast- you don't want either of those things!

    The other reason you don't want to mess with the pump is that most moms start out making more milk than their babies need. Pumping in addition to nursing can perpetuate or worsen oversupply and engorgement, which can make nursing more difficult and result in increased pain to mom.

    The pain and tenderness you're going through probably have nothing whatsoever to do with how long your baby nurses. Nursing speed and efficiency is very variable, even with newborn babies. Some newborns take 30-40 minutes to nurse, while others get a full feeding in just 5-10 minutes of nursing. If your pain is the result of your milk just coming in and you being engorged, the best thing you can do is to continue to nurse on demand and allow your milk supply to find the right level.

    This link has suggestions for coping with engorgement: http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/engorgement/
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and possibly pumping???

    4 days! exciting! congratulations.
    I agree with mommal. Everything you have posted about your babies nursing behavior sounds totally normal. This is how newborns eat-with great frequency. In the breastfed infant, frequent feedings are vital for baby's health, mothers health, and normal milk production. Yes we can make infants eat differently when they are bottle fed-but is it a good idea? Many experts now say no, it is not. Biologically, small very frequent meals is how all babies should eat, breast or bottle fed, as they have teensy weensy tummies. Bottle feeding schedules that artificially increase time between feedings serve no purpose either. Bottle fed newborns who are taking several ounces at a feeding with feedings spaced out every several hours are being made overly hungry in between feedings and then overfed at a feeding and that is unhealthy.

    The only possibly concerning thing you mention is the tenderness. This may just go away but it's a potential red flag. Is it your whole breast? just the nipple? Any other issues?

    Here is a very good article about what is normal in the early weeks with a breastfeeding newborn just fyi. http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and possibly pumping???

    Thank you both very much! Being new to this mommy position, I obviously have no experience and greatly appreciate your words of wisdom! My whole breast isn't tender, luckily, it's just the outer sides of both. It's just difficult laying on my sides or now my stomach! (: It could also be because they are continuing to grow with milk production, making them tender. I'm also using a breast shield; the first few latches didn't go so well, due to my nipples being "flat," so the shield allows for a better latch. Once again, thank you both very much!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,753

    Default Re: Breastfeeding and possibly pumping???

    I had my first baby 9 years ago and I knew nothing. Nothing! I did not even know enough to come to these forums or a LLL meeting to get help, when I desperately needed it. I had all kinds of issues and had to learn some stuff fast! 2 more kids later and I am still very much learning-but remember you are always the expert on your own baby.

    So, since you are using a nipple shield (I assume that is what you mean-the soft silicone nipple shield used while nursing) that possibly changes the situation a little bit. By all means, if baby cannot latch or nurse without the shield, keep using it! It is a great tool for allowing baby to nurse at the breast when they otherwise cannot. I used a shield myself with my oldest who could not latch at first without it.

    But it's important to know what issues can come up when using shields. Sometimes, some babies have difficulty extracting milk well when using shields. So sometimes, some moms do need to pump while using shields in order to get enough milk out for comfort and good milk production going forward. Also it’s important to closely watch output and weight gain but you are probably already doing that with a baby this young.

    So it's possible the fullness/sensitivity you are feeling is due to baby not being able to extract milk well. But this could be happening anyway at this age, baby is just still learning after all, and your milk is 'coming in' or getting more abundant, so of course some fullness is normal at this point. Also, if the sensitivity happens while baby is nursing, it could be you are a mom who can feel her letdown. Some mothers feel no sensation at let down, (when the milk begins to flow through and out of the breast when baby nurses-let down can happen other times as well) and others have a feeling so intense it's momentarily painful, and everything in between. All normal.

    When a mom is using shields I am happiest if she does so under the guidance of a board certified lactation consultant. So if that is possible for you I suggest that. also you can keep working with baby on the latch so hopefully not need the shields.

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