Re: Baby gets frustrated!
Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!
I can totally understand why having a brand new, slightly premature, and very tiny baby can make a mom extremely concerned about weight gain. Even a large, full-term newborn can seem very delicate! But in general, supplementing and bottle-feeding should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. The reason for this is that it's really easy to get milk from a bottle. A baby doesn't have to latch well or suck well in order to get milk from a bottle; it will basically just drip-drip-drip into his mouth without requiring him to do much more than swallow. Babies, being the smart little creatures that they are, rapidly figure out that it's easier to eat from the bottle than from mom's breasts, and frequently start to resist latching onto mom, or becoming extremely fussy at the breast in an attempt to communicate that they want that easy bottle.
So what I'd urge you to do first is to figure out whether or not your baby actually needs supplements. Seeing a lactation consultant again, preferably one who is an IBCLC, is a good idea. I would have the LC do a weigh-feed-weigh measurement on the baby, and see how much milk he transfers. And then I would talk about renting a professional baby scale, so that you can do your own measurements at home. Collect data for a couple of days, and then figure out what your baby is capable of transferring at the breast. (A single weigh-feed-weigh test is not that informative, since the amount a baby takes in a single feeding can vary a lot.) If your baby is eating 2-3 oz on average, then there's no need for bottles and supplements.
Frustration at the breast is really common in newborns, even those who don't get bottles. Some tips for dealing with it:
- Try to get baby to the breast at the earliest sign of hunger. Crying is a late hunger sign, and once a baby is crying he is often so frantic that he forgets that latching on and sucking is the fix to his problem.
- If baby is already frantic, try offering him a pinky finger to suck, nail held down towards his tongue. If you hold it up, the nail can damage the delicate palate. A few seconds of sucking on a clean pinky can remind the baby that sucking is the solution to his hunger problem.
- Try instant reward techniques when latching baby on. A few droplets of milk expressed onto the skin of the nipple give the baby an instant taste of milk, and the taste cue can result in greater focus, more sucking, and less frustration.
- If baby writhes and thrashes, try swaddling him, and try belly-to-belly and laid-back nursing positions. (see p. 64 in Womanly Art)
- When latching baby on, remember that what is important is not how the latch looks, but how it feels. A latch that feels good generally is good.
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!"