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Thread: New Mom Need Help

  1. #1
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    Nov 2006
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    Unhappy New Mom Need Help

    I have recenlty had my DD last Friday November 17th a month earlier than when she was due, all is well. I am trying to exclusively breast feed and in the hospital everything was going great, b/c it was just colostrum that she was feeding. Monday my milk started coming in and became very engorged and then my DD would fall asleep and the breast and would not completely latch on. Went to Outpatient NICU nursery yesterday for weight ck and has lost 6 oz. Nurse gave nipple shield b/c DD was not latching b/c of swelling and nipples were flat. Seems to be breastfeeding ok now but it is like every hour and a half to two hours. My dh, a wonderful man trying to do everything he can but he needs his rest to b/c he is the only one working, is a police officer and works nights so I am extremely exhausted. Is it ok to exclusively pump and bottle feed and am I being a selfish bad mother for wanting to do this. I have got to get some rest soon or I am going to crash, please help!!!!!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    You've been through a ton so well done for hanging in there. It's fantastic that you are breastfeeding successfully after your rocky start - well done.

    I can completely understand you'd be looking at ways to make life more manageable but it might be worth knowing a few things about going down the pumping route. In some situations (e.g. baby has a cleft palate) mums manage to exclusively pump and bottle-feed but it is not the easy option because you are basically struggling against your boobs' natural instincts. Many exclusive pumpers devote a lot of time to additional pumping to build up their supply, take supplements and spend more time feeling like dairy cows than they would care to choose.

    The problem is this - the best and most expensive pumps in the world do not stimulate the breast and the milk supply like baby. There is obviously the emotional dimension to hormone production and 'let down' and developing milk supply. But there's also a very physical problem. Baby's jaw and tongue produce a wave-like motion that is extremely distinctive and is not reproduced by the pump. It is this specific movement which stimulates prolactin and this is the hormone that governs milk supply (and with a modern thin nipple shield you'll be getting this effect too).

    The reason feeding on cue is such a good idea for the first few weeks especially is that prolactin levels produced now shape your milk supply for many months to come.

    So exclusive pumping will most likely end in your milk supply diminishing. This is putting aside all the time considerations of washing and sterilising bottles.

    There is nothing easier than baby wakes, open shirt, baby latches on - you're done. Infact if you are co-sleeping (which I was recommended to do at the hospital where I gave birth. This was a normal government hospital handing out UNICEF leaflets on co-sleeping safely.) you can even go back to sleep as they feed. So at the moment you have to fiddle around with the nipple shield too but you may be able to wean off that before long and when it do it will be so darn easy. You've got through all this hard stuff to get here.

    I think you could certainly think about pumping for one or two bottles (but even that may have some effect which you just need to look out for) but I would also consider co-sleeping. You don't have to do it forever. Sam also started on 1.5-2 hr intervals and I was completely alone at night as my DH needed his sleep for working long hours. Co-sleeping completely saved me and before I knew it the intervals were naturally extending.

    I honestly think the exclusive pumpers deserve a medal - it's so hard. Finding time to pump with baby, cleaning and sterilising pump and bottles, then finding time to actually feed the bottle. Plus all the worries about supply and which supplements you're taking and did you remember to defrost the right milk... It's not the easy option and these folks are doing it because they know that breastmilk is the best thing for their baby despite all the hardwork!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    It is "ok" to feed your baby however you decide to. It is completely up to you.
    I can tell you though that the pp was right. Pumping all the time is very time consuming. More time consuming then actually just nursing the baby. I did it for a couple of days. You will either be pumping, or feediung the bottle, around the clock...by the time baby has done the bottle you will want to pump for the next feeding...etc, etc. The reason for this is that brand new babies have such tiny tummies, they can only eat a little at a time. And BM is so easily digested that baby is hungry again, usually within 2 hours. It is perfectly normal for your DD to want to nurse so often. It is not only a source of nourishment, but also soothes her, and stimulates your milk production. The more she feeds, the more milk you will produce. There will most likely be a lot of "cluster feeding" in the next few weeks, especially during the 3 week and 6 week growth spurts. But by the time she is 6 weeks old, your body should have an idea of how much milk is required and you wont get engorged as often.
    The important thing to remember is you have to make a choice that best suits your needs as well as the needs of your baby. You are doing the best thing possible...getting as much info as you can, in order to make an informed decision. Nursing is not always easy...but it is worth it

  4. #4
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    I got the idea of exclusively pumping from my cousin, she was engorged as well and couldnt stand the pain. I just want to do what is right for my DD and do not want her to miss out on the benefits of breast feeding. I have pumped one bottle already due to being so engorged and in pain. And I see all the work involved with pumping the clean up is pretty long trying to sterilize everything. The nurse at the hospital even recommended it, it was about 3 oz so what do I do with it, freeze it? With the whole co sleeping idea, I don't understand clearly what that is, is it in the room with you or is it in the bed with you. I have a bassinet in my room now, but she will not sleep in it for 5 mins without screaming like it has needles in it. She will though sleep in her cradle in her nursery after being rocked. Thank you for responding, there is just so much information out there that it seems to be overwhelming and I do not know which way to turn, I just want to do the right thing

  5. #5
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    Sorry - I didn't realise you were still in pain from engorgement. I wouldn't have waffled on about just the pumping if I'd realized.

    Here are a few self-help measures:

    Soften your breast, by expressing a little milk so that the baby finds it easier to feed well.
    Use a wide toothed comb to stroke gently towards the nipple to help the milk flow, or massage gently.
    Check for any clothing which is pressing into your breast, this includes a bra
    Check that your baby is well positioned and attached to your breast - if in doubt seek help.
    Cool compresses also help - including short periods with green cabbage leaves from the refridgerator.

    As for co-sleeping. I'm not saying it's right for everyone - I just know it worked for me. It does mean 'in the bed' with certain safety precautions. Therefore you are able to breastfeed while lying down and there are various other reported benefits. You can read pretty much everything you might ever want to about co-sleeping on Dr Sears' site:
    http://www.askdrsears.com/html/7/T071000.asp

    But you might want to start first with this leaflet which is an updated version of the one I was given in hospital:
    http://www.babyfriendly.org.uk/pdfs/...bedleaflet.pdf
    It sets everything out very clearly.
    Remember however this is just one way to go. Plenty of poeple will tell you co-sleeping wasn't for them and they breastfed just fine. I'm not saying co-sleeping is the 'right thing' - I'm not sure there is ever one 'right thing'. We just balance the information and try and make choices.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    i am pumping/bottle feeding almost exclusively right now. my son is 2 weeks old today. we've had a hard time with breastfeeding. we're trying to get the hang of it...but in the mean time....at least he's getting breast milk, ya know?
    i think i might not be persistent enough with bf. when he or i start to get frustrated while we're trying....i just give him a bottle and say "ok maybe next time". in a day, i can get him to nurse usually only once. i do feel kind of like a failure sometimes, but i'm trying.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    Welcome and let me first say you are doing a GREAT JOB!!

    I agree with many of the PP and I am writing this as I sit here pumping (yes, I feel like a farm animal being milked). I started out pumping b/c my LO was born 2 weeks early 6 pounds 2 ounces and refused to nurse after the first time (right after birth). I pumped and kept trying to nurse her at each feeding and at the time I was so exhausted, frustrated and cried a lot. You can use feeding options such as a cup pr spoon feeding until the latch gets better and to give yourself some rest. Here is a great link on Alternative Feeding Methods: http://www.kellymom.com/bf/pumping/a...e-feeding.html In my case, we cup fed for the first 2 weeks and my LO lost a good bit of weight so her Ped doc insisted we start her on bottles with expressed milk. I was so upset but I gave in b/c I knew she needed to gain weight so we bottle fed and I kept attempting to nurse too (with no luck). One week after having her on the bottle she had gained over a pound and began breast feeding on her own. I had always thought if she ever takes a bottle I will loose my chance to nurse her but this is not true for all infants. She is not 7 weeks and we are just finally getting the latch problems figured out (with the help of my local LLL group and this board - thanks ). I now mostly nurse her but pump milk for my DH to feed some (or for me to feed when I am exhausted and can't get her latched on correctly). Now that she is nursing I will admit it is SO much better than pumping but it is pumping that got us to where we are today so I am grateful to this evil machine that is sucking away right now!

    Whatever you decide just keep in mind you are doing the right thing by trying to keep your baby on breast milk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    With the whole co sleeping idea, I don't understand clearly what that is, is it in the room with you or is it in the bed with you. I have a bassinet in my room now, but she will not sleep in it for 5 mins without screaming like it has needles in it.
    I take cosleeping to mean whatever you want it to mean. I have found (as with everything with my LO) you just have to go with what works for you. Oddly enough, my LO hates her crib and bassinet. The way she sleeps best is in her car seat in our bed. Yes, it sounds odd but she likes it and sleeps this way so who am I to tell her it is not normal. With the car seat in bed with us mu DH or I can have one hand resting on her feet which makes her most Happy. This has given us more sleep since we found her favorite sleeping place (which took about 2 weeks to discover). I would recommend trying different options and go with whatever works for you!! Here is a link on co-sleeping for you too. http://www.kellymom.com/parenting/sleep/familybed.html

    Things will get better (I did not believe this early on but that have gotten So much better). I wish you the best of luck and keep us posted!!
    Samantha: born 3 1/2 weeks early on Sept 2006 6lbs 4 oz 18 inches long with situs inversus totalis. Now a strong healthy little girl that wants to be a NICU doctor, loves her little sister and breastfeeds her dolls!
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 2,200 oz
    Alexandra: born 3 weeks early on July 2010 7lbs 8 oz 19.5 inches long.
    Milk donated with while nursing first LO: 1,200


    For information on becoming a Breastmilk Donor http://hmbana.org/index/donatemilk

  8. #8
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    Dec 2005
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    I have recenlty had my DD last Friday November 17th a month earlier than when she was due, all is well.
    Congrats on your new arrival. And welcome to the boards!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    I am trying to exclusively breast feed and in the hospital everything was going great, b/c it was just colostrum that she was feeding. Monday my milk started coming in and became very engorged and then my DD would fall asleep and the breast and would not completely latch on.
    On a rare occassion, newborns have some difficulty when the milk becomes more plentiful. It is great that sought help right away!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    Went to Outpatient NICU nursery yesterday for weight ck and has lost 6 oz. Nurse gave nipple shield b/c DD was not latching b/c of swelling and nipples were flat.
    Did the nurse give you any tips for coping with the engorgement? Any tips for making latching on and nursing easier (without a nipple shield)? If not, please read this resource:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/engorgement.html

    Pay special attention to the boxed off section on reverse pressure softening (RPS). This can really make latching on more managable!

    Have you tried latching without the shield? If so, how did that go?


    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    Seems to be breastfeeding ok now but it is like every hour and a half to two hours.
    Totally normal!! You can read more info here:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/frequency.html
    And at this non-LLL resource:
    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/normal/frequent-nursing.html

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    My dh, a wonderful man trying to do everything he can but he needs his rest to b/c he is the only one working, is a police officer and works nights so I am extremely exhausted.
    Can you rest more during your dh's awake hours at home? Can you nap when your baby naps? Is there anyone else who could come by and rock the baby while you take a nap?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    Is it ok to exclusively pump and bottle feed and am I being a selfish bad mother for wanting to do this.
    You're not a selfish bad mother. Please know that it is VERY doubful that exclusively pumping will solve the problems that you have, and it can in, in fact, bring problems of it's own! Remember that breastfeeding is about SO much more than the milk. It's nurturing and comforting, too.

    How would you feel about exploring ways to make nursing easier and more comfortable for you?


    Quote Originally Posted by Kristy D View Post
    I have got to get some rest soon or I am going to crash, please help!!!!!
    Ahhh...the age old question. When do I sleep? You could try:
    1. Taking a nap when baby naps
    2. Lying down to nurse so you can doze while baby is nursing
    3. Napping when dh is home and awake or when someone else is able to come by.
    4. Taking every opportunity to rest (the dishes, clothes, and floors can wait!).
    5. Co-sleeping or room sharing


    Have you contacted your local LLL Leader for support?

  9. #9
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    In addition to all the information they've given you, keep in mind that your baby was four weeks early. Mine was five, and everyone from the nurses to the doctors to the LCs explained to me that he just didn't have all the physical stuff to nurse properly. It gets better as you get closer to your due date, and my LO is proof of that - at 5.5 weeks of age, he figured it out. Mind you, we still use a nipple shield, but I am slowly trying to wean him off of it. He's 8 weeks now and doing beautifully. Granted, I don't EBF, but I come as close to it as I am comfortable with, and I struggle sometimes. If you really want to keep going, hang in there.

    Also, not all nipple shields are equal, so check with an LC to make sure you have the right size. The one they tried to get me to use in the hospital after my milk came in was too big. I now have four small ones that I alternate through as they get dirty.

  10. #10
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    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: New Mom Need Help

    Thanks for all the replies, they did help

    Still breastfeeding!!!! Things have gotten a little easier, I guess, went back to the NICU nursery for wt check and we have gained 2 oz. Which is good according to the nurse, they want preemies to gain at least 1/2 an oz. Think that we are away from the nipple shield as well, she just roots her little self right up to the breast now. Did have to pump a couple of bottles due to being overly exhausted and nurse wanted to supplement and I suggested that I already had one bottle pumped due to engorgement and she said use that instead of the supp. Trying not to pump now, b/c my dd is nursing, the only question is, is 15 to 20 mins long enough and is she getting enough. She falls asleep and the pulls off and I don't want to have to wake her and she gives me that drunken milk look . I have offered her the other breast and she turns away. Do I burp her and lay her down or wake her back up???

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