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Thread: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Unhappy Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    My baby boy is now 3 weeks old and has been nursing and supplementing with formula since he was 5 days old. When he was born he was 6lbs 2oz when we left the hospital he was 5 lbs 8oz. We were told to go to the doctor a few days after being discharged and he was still 5 lbs 8oz this was when the pediatrician told me to start supplementing with formula. My sweetie ended up back in the hospital at 9 days old because he turned blue, but he was still nursing what I would say is well. He would nurse 8 times a day and take between an ounce or two of formula after each nursing session. We have always had a little trouble with him falling asleep while nursing but I would tickle his feet or undress him to keep him awake, but now for the past week he wont stay latched on. I have tried the cradle hold, laid back, and football hold but he wont stay latched on in any of these positions. He is now nursing closer to 11 times a day but I have noticed that he is taking more formula and always fusses when I try and breastfeed him. My boyfriend and I don't really have the money to afford formula and we both would much prefer him to breastfeed. I have been pumping to try and help increase my supply but I only get about and ounce combined from both breasts when I pump. I have been trying to stop supplementing because our new pediatrician said we could stop, but he is taking more formula and never seems satisfied after nursing. I feel like I am a failure. I have been trying so hard to do everything that I know is the best for him but it fails every time. First I had to have him by c-section and now I am failing at breastfeeding.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    I just want to tell you that your an amazing mommy and stay strong!! Breastfeeding is hard those first few weeks but just keep offering him the breast as much as he will take it!!! just trust your instincts and I promise it will get better!! You should check out FB too I'm in a group breast is best and I know you can get a ton of support there also!! I would suggest anytime u give him formula you pump also to tell your body to keep making milk even if no milk comes out your still signaling to make more!

    Jacob 2.2.04 FF due to lack of support (biggest regret in life)
    Abigail 12.7.08 ~ BF 14 months
    Nicholas 12.21.12 ~ EBF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    Some questions for you:
    - When you say that your baby "turned blue", what happened exactly? Is there some sort of underlying health condition which is affecting your baby?
    - During your birth, I assume you had IV fluids. Were you on an IV for a prolonged period?
    - Was baby born at or around term (38-42 weeks), or was he preterm? And if so, how early was he?
    - Is there anything else that was notable about your baby's birth?
    - What sort of pump do you have and how often are you using it?
    - How does nursing feel? Any problems with pain during or after nursing?

    It sounds like your baby is pretty sleepy. Some tricks for waking a dozy newborn:
    - Rub the soles of his feet or against the grain of his hair using your hand or a cool damp washrag.
    - When it's time to nurse, strip baby down to a single light layer, and keep a fan blowing in the room where you're nursing (but not directly on the baby). A cool baby is often more alert than a warm one.
    - Keep the lights dim. New babies often close their eyes in response to bright light.
    - Try switch nursing. When baby's suckling slows, and he seems to be dozing off, take him off the breast, burp him or change his diaper, and switch him to the other breast. When suckling slows on the second breast, switch him back to the first, and repeat the process until baby is satisfied or will no longer wake.

    Fussiness at the breast is very normal with young babies. It's especially common around the time of a growth spurt- and there's a big one at around 3 weeks- and with babies who get a lot of bottles early on. One thing that can help with bottle-related fussiness is something called the "finish at the breast" technique. Instead of allowing feedings to conclude with the bottle, you nurse, give a supplement, and then put the baby back to the breast for a good long session of comfort nursing. Not only is this good for supply, but it teaches baby to associate the feeling of satiation with the breast rather than the bottle.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    Thanks so much! We were at the pediatrician when she said his top lip and near his nose were blue so she checked his oxygen levels and it was at 81% Then she said his heart rate was low and we were taken to the hospital in an ambulance. We stayed for two days and he had no more episodes and had just about every test done you could think of. He was a full term at 39 weeks and 1 day we had a c-section because he was breech. They left my IV's in for around 8 hours but left the saline lock in for 2 days. I have an electric breast pump and I pump after each feeding unless we out somewhere. Nursing isn't painful at all, I read on another thread that a woman whose baby was having trouble latching had success in the side laying position, so I gave that a try and it helped a little bit he didn't fall off as much.

    Thanks for all your help and encouragement, my boyfriend tries but he just doesn't understand, it's nice to hear from people with experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    Are you pumping? How much formula is baby getting overall-daily? What other weight checks has baby had?

    If a baby is getting any formula supplements and mom is not pumping her milk production can be harmed. Luckily it is very early days so this situation can certainly be turned around.

    are there any lactation support services near you are you aware? Breastfeeding support groups?

    An infant this age typically needs to nurse at least 10 or 12 times a day-at least. More often is normal and fine. It is normal for baby to want to nurse very frequently, fuss at the breast, etc. Now that baby is getting formula 'top offs,' that can snowball and snowball untill baby is no longer nursing at all. But how and if you can start cutting back on the formula depends on if baby is nursing effectively now and also how much formula baby is getting and if your production has been affected by the supplementing.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    I pump after each nursing session. He generally nurses 9-11 times a day and takes about 10 ounces of formula each day. His last weight check he was at 6lbs 6oz. The visiting nurse comes tomorrow to check his weight and his pulse/ox monitor.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    Thanks for providing the additional information.

    Your pump frequency is good, but I am still curious about exactly what machine you're using. When a mom is trying to increase supply using the pump, ideally she will use a hospital-grade rental pump with correctly sized shields. If that isn't possible, she should use the absolute best double electric pump she can afford- something like the Medela Pump in Style or the Hygeia Enjoye.

    Are you using your pumped milk to supplement the baby? Or are you just using formula?

    As LLLMeg mentioned, at this age most babies are nursing at least 10-12 times per day. The more you can nurse, the better.

    This link on weaning from formula supplements may be useful to you: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/basi...rease-formula/

  8. #8

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    I try and supplement with the milk I pump but I only get about 1-3oz from the whole days worth of pumping. I actually got my pump for free from my health insurance its a Ameda double electric pump. I have an appointment with a IBCLC tomorrow. He is gaining weight and is now at 6lbs. 11ounces as of Monday.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Feel like I am failing at breastfeeding

    Is it an Ameda Purely Yours? If so, that's probably a step down from the machine you want. An APY is a good pump for a mom with an established supply who responds well to pumping. It's not a great pump for a mom who is trying to increase supply via pumping, since it just doesn't have the power. Bring the pump with you to the IBCLC tomorrow, and have her make sure it's a) what you need and b) that the shields fit correctly.

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