Re: Low milk supply?
This does not sound like a supply issue. Baby is gaining well- 3 lbs in just over a month! She's nursing a normal amount- most babies require at least 8 nursing sessions per day in order to get their needs met, so I'd encourage a couple more feedings on those days when she's nursing less. Your pump amounts were great. Baby is sleeping a very long stretch at night, which also points to normal intake- babies who aren't getting enough to eat generally cannot sleep that long (though, just for the record, plenty of babies who are being fed abundantly also don't sleep more than an hour or two at a time!).
As long as baby is wetting/pooping enough and gaining weight normally, there's no reason to worry about whether or not your breasts feel full or empty, or whether or not you can feel letdowns. Fullness is actually something a mom experiences only when she's making too much milk. When supply and demand have adjusted to be well-matched, a mom will rarely if ever feel full. Not all moms feel letdown- I nursed my kids for a total of 6 years, and never once experienced a letdown sensation!
Being frantic at the breast, and sometimes refusing the breast is a really frustrating- and normal- baby behavior. Why babies do it... . Sometimes they are just cranky. Sometimes they want to suck but not to eat. Sometimes they are too frantic to remember that latching on and sucking will solve their hunger problem. Some things you can do:
- Try offering the breast before your baby escalates into frantic crying. Some babies are "0 to 60" types who go from calm to crying in a heartbeat, but if you have a baby who is a little more calm, maybe fussing for a while before crying, try to nurse her in that hungry but not frantic phase.
- If baby is refusing the breast, try offering your clean pinky finger for her to suck on, with nail held down towards her tongue so that it will not damage the soft tissue of the palate. A few moments of sucking on a finger may calm her enough to enable a repeat latch attemot, and remind her that the key to getting her hunger problem solved is to suck.
- Don't resort to the bottle unless baby is getting dehydrated. Teaching the baby that she can get her needs met with a bottle if she just fusses enough is one way that nursing goes south on a lot of moms.
Try not to take this behavior personally, and also try to remember that fussiness is not always about feeding. Sometimes the baby really isn't hungry, and is just cranky. Crankiness/fussiness/colic actually tends to peak right in the 3 week-3 month window, so think of yourself as being in the heart of it right now. Some things to try for fussy phases:
- Calm house. Lights, TV, and stereo down, or preferably off.
- White noise. Vacuum or dryer sounds, radio static, etc.
- Closeness. Cuddle baby close in a sling or hold her skin-to-skin so she can hear your calming heartbeat and breathing.
- Motion. Out her in a swing, bounce her on an exercise ball, rock in a rocker, take her for a stroller ride, etc.
- Give her a warm bath.
- Go outside into the fresh air.
A lot of baby fussiness can be short-circuited by changing the baby's sensory input. Nothing will work for long, so keep changing it up!
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!"