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Thread: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

  1. #1

    Default Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    My BG was born at 37 weeks via emergency c section due to a complication. Hasn't been able to sustain sucking for more than 3-4 minutes at a time since then. We've been supplementing with pumped milk . Our LC says BG can take in between .6 to 1oz at a nursing session, supplementing after nursing is between 45-60ml.
    Now BG is 1month old and still stuck at the 4 minutes per side pattern, I am exhausted between trying to feed her for 45 minutes, then pump and bottle feed. Doing this every 2.5 hours.... When will things get better? My LC asks me to just hang in there,....but I am at my wits end
    I am ready to throw in the towel and just exclusively pump. Any support or words of wisdom will be helpful
    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    I am sure that you are exhausted!!!

    Can you tell us more about how baby is being supplemented? Is it via bottle? Are supplements coming only at the conclusion of the feedings? Will baby take the breast at all, for any reason besides being hungry (I.e. will she comfort nurse?)?
    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!"

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    Here are my thoughts on seeing your post-of course, I do not have all the information.

    If your baby is gaining well 100% on your own expressed milk, then you make enough milk. So you are pumping at this point only so that you can give that milk to your baby. (and not also to increase milk production-as your milk production is good-right?) Pumping and feeding baby your milk as a supplement certainly solves the problem of how to get enough milk into baby, which is always issue number 1. But what is being done to fix issue number 2-helping baby get more milk at the breast?

    For example, have you tried decreasing bottles & pumping and nursing more often? Is there a sucking issue, latch issue, tongue tie, etc that explains what is going on and can be worked on? Have you and your IBCLC considered if a lactation aid would be something that might work better for you than bottles?

    If baby can nurse effectively but nurses in very short bursts, what has been done to encourage baby to nurse longer? Breast compressions? Simply nursing very frequently> IS the 4 minutes long enough to bring on a letdown? Could it be the letdown is so strong (fast flow) that baby is reacting adversely?

    It does often take time for breastfeeding issue to resolve, and at one month you are in the very early days- no mother of a month old baby is not exhausted. However, the nurse/supplement/pump- treadmill is very overwhelming. Adjustment in this plan may be helpful, if possible.

    I would suggest talking to your IBCLC again about how you could maximize nursing time and start pulling back on the supplementing & pumping. It’s a process, but when at all possible you want it moving on the direction of your goal-exclusive nursing.


    fyi more on lactation aids: http://cwgenna.com/smartnothard.html

  4. #4

    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    The supplements are via bottle: I pump my breast milk post feeding her. The baby is typically at the breast for 10 minutes or so tach side, after the first 4 minutes, it's comfort latch. She is not sucking or swallowing but latched on.

    We(both LC and I) tried using kellymom's suggestion to reduce supplements, but it made her too sleepy so we had to bump it up. LC says she is not increasing her sucking at the breast which she should....
    We are doing breast compressions and changing position every 30 seconds or so, this is what brings us to 4-6 minutes, from 2 minutes or so.
    The SNS has not worked for us, simply because she does not sustain a suck at the breast, typically without the SNS I have a quick let down on the Left, which causes her to cough and pull away.... I am trying the football hold to help with that.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    What does your IBCLC want to see before you can just nurse your baby? What is the criteria? Because your IBCLC is saying be patient-but for what?

    baby is typically at the breast for 10 minutes or so tach side, after the first 4 minutes, it's comfort latch. She is not sucking or swallowing but latched on.
    So mursing sesions are 10 minutes per side, and then baby unlatches herself and you switch sides? or what? And at what point is the before and after nursing weight check done? When was the last before and after weight check and how many have been done?

    How many times a 24 hour day does baby nurse?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    What does your IBCLC want to see before you can just nurse your baby? What is the criteria? Because your IBCLC is saying be patient-but for what?

    We typically weigh baby at the start of nursing session, and then after each side, she wants baby to take in 2-2.5 oz at the breast before we stop supplements. Otherwise according to her run the risk of baby sleeping too much and not feeding.

    So mursing sesions are 10 minutes per side, and then baby unlatches herself and you switch sides? or what? And at what point is the before and after nursing weight check done? When was the last before and after weight check and how many have been done?
    E lengthy of nursing session varies, today evening for example she as in the baby wrap, so nursing at her cues of "ooh and ah" in sleep, which was non nutritive sucking for 2-4 minutes, and some suck swallowing for 1-2 minutes each side, when she unlatched herself at 3-5 minutes or so. Then as she feed her every 3 times during the day, I supplemented her with 2 oz cause it was almost 4 hours past last feeding
    How many times a 24 hour day does baby nurse?
    7-8 times, due to a 4-5 hour stretch at night, she does 2.5 hours in the day

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    ok, a month old baby typically nurses 10-12 times a day, or more, in order to get enough milk to gain normally. And baby typically will nurse very frequently parts of the day-every hour, even more often sometimes. Have you tried upping nursing frequency by encouraging baby to nurse more, even offering when baby is asleep ot just waking? Not more pumping, not more supplements-JUST more nursing?

    If you can encourage baby to nurse with something closer to average frequency, maybe you can pull back on supplementing, and that in turn allows you to pull back on pumping. Even with nursing more often, without that extra work, life gets easier.

    It may be hard to encourage more nursing without easing back on the supplementing-a baby filled up on supplements is less likely to be hungry enough to nurse well or with normal frequency- but somehow you want to get some forward momentum, so you can see a path off the 'triple feeding' treadmill you are on.

    Does that make sense to you?

  8. #8

    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    ok, a month old baby typically nurses 10-12 times a day, or more, in order to get enough milk to gain normally. And baby typically will nurse very frequently parts of the day-every hour, even more often sometimes. Have you tried upping nursing frequency by encouraging baby to nurse more, even offering when baby is asleep ot just waking? Not more pumping, not more supplements-JUST more nursing?
    I am in board with this, but was warned by pediatrician, not to cut supplements too abruptly... So I'd have to wean her off supplements gradually right?
    Secondly I am worried that her nursing every 5-7 minutes then sleeping off at the breast is only going to give her foremilk....how do I handle that?

    If you can encourage baby to nurse with something closer to average frequency, maybe you can pull back on supplementing, and that in turn allows you to pull back on pumping. Even with nursing more often, without that extra work, life gets easier.

    It may be hard to encourage more nursing without easing back on the supplementing-a baby filled up on supplements is less likely to be hungry enough to nurse well or with normal frequency- but somehow you want to get some forward momentum, so you can see a path off the 'triple feeding' treadmill you are on.

    Does that make sense to you?
    Lastly even getting her to do 10 minutes at the breast takes 45 minutes, since it's the time to wake her/ latch on / get her to suck etc

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    But that is my point-this sleepiness aand difficulty latching is the issue, the only issue, because your milk production is normal- and that is what needs to be concentrated on. It should not be so difficult to 1) wake a month old baby or 2) to get a month old baby to latch and nurse effectively.

    Is anyone seeing anything that explains why your baby has so much difficulty latching and nursing?

    Sleepy baby is trickier. A baby who is not getting enough calories may be overly sleepy. But of course there would be other indications baby is not getting enough (low output, poor weight gain.)

    But the confusing thing is that a baby who is getting MORE than enough calories via supplementing may be very difficult to wake and nurse as well-Because the baby’s normal internal wake signals are being deadened by over- supplementing.

    Also a baby who is getting more than enough via supplements would be unlikely to nurse for long periods either. The issue is-why is your baby having so much trouble nursing. There may be more than one reason.

    I have been there, or at least, close to there. My oldest had to be woken for every feed, it would take him 45 minutes to latch and another 30 to nurse, & I was pumping after, and we were trying (and usually failing) to do this every 2 hours around the clock! However baby was not being supplemented. It was not needed because, after a big weight drop the first few days, baby was began getting enough at the breast as evidenced by his output and weight gain. Nursing was still not going well, he was still sleepy, but he was getting enough milk. I was pumping after nursing sessions because I was using a nipple shield and that was (and in some cases still is) the recommendation when using shields, in order to protect moms milk production.

    We finally turned the corner when baby began waking more normally at about a month or so- waking on his own, ready to nurse. But it still took a few more weeks to get off the shields and for sessions to be of more normal length.

    We never found out exactly why my son had so much trouble latching early on. I believe it was a combination of my nipples being flat due to some heavy meds (I had a c-section) and engorgement, baby being little and slightly early (he also was born at 37 weeks,) my son having a small mouth genetically, and a slight tongue tie (no one even considered tongue tie issues in those days)

    My point in telling you my story is, pinpointing the exact issue may be important or it may not. It depends if it is something that is likely to correct on it's own over time as baby gets bigger and you both get better at nursing, or not.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Exhausted mom of 1 month old

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    But that is my point-this sleepiness aand difficulty latching is the issue, the only issue, because your milk production is normal- and that is what needs to be concentrated on. It should not be so difficult to 1) wake a month old baby or 2) to get a month old baby to latch and nurse effectively.

    Is anyone seeing anything that explains why your baby has so much difficulty latching and nursing?

    Sleepy baby is trickier. A baby who is not getting enough calories may be overly sleepy. But of course there would be other indications baby is not getting enough (low output, poor weight gain.)

    But the confusing thing is that a baby who is getting MORE than enough calories via supplementing may be very difficult to wake and nurse as well-Because the baby’s normal internal wake signals are being deadened by over- supplementing.

    Also a baby who is getting more than enough via supplements would be unlikely to nurse for long periods either. The issue is-why is your baby having so much trouble nursing. There may be more than one reason.

    I have been there, or at least, close to there. My oldest had to be woken for every feed, it would take him 45 minutes to latch and another 30 to nurse, & I was pumping after, and we were trying (and usually failing) to do this every 2 hours around the clock! However baby was not being supplemented. It was not needed because, after a big weight drop the first few days, baby was began getting enough at the breast as evidenced by his output and weight gain. Nursing was still not going well, he was still sleepy, but he was getting enough milk. I was pumping after nursing sessions because I was using a nipple shield and that was (and in some cases still is) the recommendation when using shields, in order to protect moms milk production.

    We finally turned the corner when baby began waking more normally at about a month or so- waking on his own, ready to nurse. But it still took a few more weeks to get off the shields and for sessions to be of more normal length.

    We never found out exactly why my son had so much trouble latching early on. I believe it was a combination of my nipples being flat due to some heavy meds (I had a c-section) and engorgement, baby being little and slightly early (he also was born at 37 weeks,) my son having a small mouth genetically, and a slight tongue tie (no one even considered tongue tie issues in those days)

    My point in telling you my story is, pinpointing the exact issue may be important or it may not. It depends if it is something that is likely to correct on it's own over time as baby gets bigger and you both get better at nursing, or not.

    Thank you for sharing your story, totally makes sense. Often times when we supplement her, she doesn't take all that is offered.
    Also she has been stirring on her own to wake up, that's a good sign right? She still falls asleep within 2 minutes of nursing, but can that get better?
    But to answer your question, there have been surmises as to why she is so sleepy: born preterm/ c section/ but everyone expected her to catch up by 1 months time.
    The LC would like her to take in 2-2.5oz during nursing prior to me dropping supplements. How does that sound?
    Finally the pediatrician has warned me about abruptly stopping supplements, instead they should be gradually weaned off. That makes sense to me.
    Thanks for ur help!

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