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Thread: What I will do differently next time

  1. #1
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    May 2013
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    Default What I will do differently next time

    Just wanted to share my story. If you are beginning nursing, please do these two things: 1) if it hurts, get help and 2) if you think you have a problem like oversupply or undersupply, get help.

    My DD latched right away, and so the "bonding" nurse took more time telling me how to order the crappy hospital pictures than she took helping me learn to bf. the position she told me to get in was awkward and the way she told me to latch required three hands. It hurt. But I didn't get help. I thought I could figure it out.

    The incredibly busy LC at the hospital didn't get to see me until I was waiting on transport, so she didn't watch me nurse. I asked how long it would hurt and she thought I meant the normal initial tenderness, so she breezed out. I didn't ask for help.

    After getting home, I continued to Hirt but a little less. The carpal tunnel I had had since last trimester was getting better. Baby was gaining rapidly although nursing a lot and falling asleep before finished. This can be normal, but not the fussiness-at-the breast that soon began. Choking, coughing, burping, pulling away, then green poops started. I didn't ask for help.

    I read about oversupply, since I knew my mom had had issues with it when nursing my brother. "Eureka!" I cried, and I began block feeding, but I didn't ask for help.

    It got better for a while, though latching was still awkward for me and nursing was a little painful (my teeth started shifting because I was clenching my teeth, so the dentist said). Baby was gaining very well. When I discussed oversupply problems with my OB, she said, "What's that?" I didn't ask for help.

    I guess I have a large storage capacity because I was block feeding for around 10-hour blocks for several weeks, then gradually got to the point where every feeding was just one breast. Baby's weight gain slowed a little but still normal. Then I started needing both breasts, which is supposed to happen sometimes. I was getting normal. But then LO started refusing to nurse for 3-4 hour stretches during the day. I didn't ask for help.

    She began only nursing in side-lying, which I read was common when you have OALD, and was an inconvenience when at home but also meant she had to wait to nurse when we were out. I didn't ask for help.

    Refusal started getting worse. She would only nurse for naps and at night, when nursing began to happen every hour or hour-and-a-half. I finally stumbled upon Dr. Jack Newman's videos and I saw one that could have been my baby: almost 4 months old, and she was "nibbling." I finally decided to get help.

    The nearest LLL chapter to me is a 45-minute drive, and I hadn't been leaving the house except for 15-minute trips for fast food. I was scared to be out of pocket in case she decided to nurse, but I went. I was beyond the help of the leader so the next day I drove 2 hours to the nearest IBCLC.

    As I thought, my supply had dwindled to the point that we were in the downward spiral. The more it dropped, the less she nursed, which dropped it more and so on.

    If I had been a squeaky wheel at the hospital, I could have helped my baby become more efficient at milk removal and avoided the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. If I had gotten help before block feeding, I would not have gone overboard and cut down on the flow that my inefficient nurser needed so much.

    Now, we have made it 6 months but we still have to supplement (thankfully with pumped milk not formula). We are dealing with a busy baby who doesn't have time to wait on a letdown.

    So, here's what I did wrong: I didn't ask for help. Fortunately, here's what I did right: I always fed her whenever she wanted for as long as she wanted. All those night feedings and taking her back to my bedroom to nurse even though grandparents had driven in to visit, even when everyone was saying that maybe she just wanted to be rocked to sleep instead of nursing, or maybe she was just a naturally fussy baby, or maybe she needed to cry it out...I didn't listen. I nursed her whenever she would let me.

    Because of my stubbornness, my supply rebounded very quickly when I began pumping. Because of the effort early on, my body made enough hormone receptors that the slump was overcome.

    So, ask for help and always nurse on demand.

    I wish there was a forum on here for people to post their whole bfing stories, start to finish, but until then, I will put mine here. I wish I had read one like it back when I got started. I hope you might benefit from my mistake.
    Last edited by @llli*kayla9214; September 20th, 2013 at 02:45 PM. Reason: Misspelling

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kayla9214 View Post
    Just wanted to share my story. If you are beginning nursing, please do these two things: 1) if it hurts, get help and 2) if you think you have a problem like oversupply or undersupply, get help.

    My DD latched right away, and so the "bonding" nurse took more time telling me how to order the crappy hospital pictures than she took helping me learn to bf. the position she told me to get in was awkward and the way she told me to latch required three hands. It hurt. But I didn't get help. I thought I could figure it out.

    The incredibly busy LC at the hospital didn't get to see me until I was waiting on transport, so she didn't watch me nurse. I asked how long it would hurt and she thought I meant the normal initial tenderness, so she breezed out. I didn't ask for help.

    After getting home, I continued to Hirt but a little less. The carpal tunnel I had had since last trimester was getting better. Baby was gaining rapidly although nursing a lot and falling asleep before finished. This can be normal, but not the fussiness-at-the breast that soon began. Choking, coughing, burping, pulling away, then green poops started. I didn't ask for help.

    I read about oversupply, since I knew my mom had had issues with it when nursing my brother. "Eureka!" I cried, and I began block feeding, but I didn't ask for help.

    It got better for a while, though latching was still awkward for me and nursing was a little painful (my teeth started shifting because I was clenching my teeth, so the dentist said). Baby was gaining very well. When I discussed oversupply problems with my OB, she said, "What's that?" I didn't ask for help.

    I guess I have a large storage capacity because I was block feeding for around 10-hour blocks for several weeks, then gradually got to the point where every feeding was just one breast. Baby's weight gain slowed a little but still normal. Then I started needing both breasts, which is supposed to happen sometimes. I was getting normal. But then LO started refusing to nurse for 3-4 hour stretches during the day. I didn't ask for help.

    She began only nursing in side-lying, which I read was common when you have OALD, and was an inconvenience when at home but also meant she had to wait to nurse when we were out. I didn't ask for help.

    Refusal started getting worse. She would only nurse for naps and at night, when nursing began to happen every hour or hour-and-a-half. I finally stumbled upon Dr. Jack Newman's videos and I saw one that could have been my baby: almost 4 months old, and she was "nibbling." I finally decided to get help.

    The nearest LLL chapter to me is a 45-minute drive, and I hadn't been leaving the house except for 15-minute trips for fast food. I was scared to be out of pocket in case she decided to nurse, but I went. I was beyond the help of the leader so the next day I drove 2 hours to the nearest IBCLC.

    As I thought, my supply had dwindled to the point that we were in the downward spiral. The more it dropped, the less she nursed, which dropped it more and so on.

    If I had been a squeaky wheel at the hospital, I could have helped my baby become more efficient at milk removal and avoided the foremilk/hindmilk imbalance. If I had gotten help before block feeding, I would not have gone overboard and cut down on the flow that my inefficient nurser needed so much.

    Now, we have made it 6 months but we still have to supplement (thankfully with pumped milk not formula). We are dealing with a busy baby who doesn't have time to wait on a letdown.

    So, here's what I did wrong: I didn't ask for help. Fortunately, here's what I did right: I always fed her whenever she wanted for as long as she wanted. All those night feedings and taking her back to my bedroom to nurse even though grandparents had driven in to visit, even when everyone was saying that maybe she just wanted to be rocked to sleep instead of nursing, or maybe she was just a naturally fussy baby, or maybe she needed to cry it out...I didn't listen. I nursed her whenever she would let me.

    Because of my stubbornness, my supply rebounded very quickly when I began pumping. Because of the effort early on, my body made enough hormone receptors that the slump was overcome.

    So, ask for help and always nurse on demand.

    I wish there was a forum on here for people to post their whole bfing stories, start to finish, but until then, I will put mine here. I wish I had read one like it back when I got started. I hope you might benefit from my mistake.
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, I have followed some of your posts. I agree, it would be great if there were more full stories like this!

    Just a few questions though, since I pretty much have the EXACT same story, with some differences. How do you know you have/had low supply? Did your baby stop gaining weight? Did she have poor diaper output? I love Dr. Newman, don't get me wrong he is a hero, but I don't agree with him on everything. I follow him on facebook and I don't necessarily agree with him on the oversupply issue. I think he thinks it is rare, and perhaps it is not. Mostly because I went down the exact same road as you, and I can't emphasize enough the word exact!!! Green poops, choking, 12-24 hour blocks per breast, only eats lying down, never going anywhere for fear of needing to nurse. I have nourished my baby from one breast, she refuses the other 99% of the time. She is normal weight, height, meeting milestones, etc. I wouldn't call her a happy baby but I think that has absolutely nothing to do with my supply.

    So, we are at 9 months. I did nothing. Everything got better on it's own after about 5 months, gradually. We moved to sitting up and now we only sit up, pretty much anywhere. I have a very, very busy baby who can almost walk. I did not pump, and my baby has always "refused to nurse for 3-4 hour periods". She does not eat if she isn't hungry. She has never loved nursing, but she goes to sleep that way so I know she must find it comforting. Green poops went away on their own. It feels like I have low supply to me, but I know I don't because she eats maybe 20 calories-50 cals of solids per day and she is at the high end of normal weekly weight gain for her age.

    Anyway, it sounds like you did everything you could to me, I know I sure did. I got help like you did in the end, but it really wasn't helpful at all! I saw a great IBCLC who had no advice about oversupply. You followed your baby's lead. That's why you block fed, right? If you hadn't, what would have happened? Perhaps she would have outright hated nursing even more because of the flow? You never know. How else would you have survived oversupply? Clearly your baby was uncomfortable enough and unhappy enough for you to want to do something about it. I think you have survived something so hard that only those of us who have gone through it understand. You are amazing and strong.
    and Mama to two little girls

  3. #3
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    May 2013
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Thanks so much! I needed that.

    When I went to the LC and started pumping, it was because she was acting desperate to nurse but wouldn't. Hard to describe, but she would root and breathe fast while latching, suck for a bit (a minute maybe?) and then roll over an play with her toes. If i tried to get her to latch again, I got screaming, squirming. more than just 4-mo fussies. I saw that, too. All. Day. Long. She would nurse around 6:00 am and then no milk intake until 10:30ish. Never supplementation and never pacifier.

    more of the same until 2ish for a nap when she would nurse through several milk releases, then nothing until 7:00ish, when she would do more toe-playing but would eventually nurse. Then nursing every hour or so at night, without a lot of swallowing. She looked like the nibbler video.

    At the LC, she nursed to sleep and had a great session compared to what we had been having, getting 50mL. Fine if it had happened several times a day, but it didn't.

    Now, we are dealing with flow preference, even though my supply is obviously fine, since I pump 3-4oz total if it's my first-thing-in-the-morning pump and 1-2 oz if I have to pump again.

    There has to be something else going on, too, though, because even dream feedings are getting pretty bad when I try to get by without pumping. She seems to be really reliant on a good flow, even with compressions and a good latch. Points to tongue-tie, right? but LC said she really didn't think it was, and DH and I are iffy on whether we'd get her clipped, even if we got it confirmed elsewhere.

    So I am working on the premise that DD needs me to have a better-than-average supply and am working to get it back up.

    I know I was right to block feed, and it made me cry when the LC said that very same thing I me. I just should have gotten guidance to do it right, without going overboard. I think I started long blocks at around 4weeks, which was probably too much too early. A simple lesson in finish the first breast probably would have been enough.

    And getting help with painful latch in the beginning might have helped me learn to help her get more efficient before fussiness and refusal began.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    And I really think I'm on the right track. The last two days, I have pumped once in the early am, every time she refuses longer than two hours, and after every feeding. Today, she nursed better than a long time, more often, more drinking, and has actually started refusing supplements! She took maybe 1 oz twice today and then pushes it away.

    I should add that her weight gain never got scary. She held steady but didn't gain for a few weeks but was still around the 50% curve on WHO charts (was at 70 during first two months). Has been meeting milestones and is generally happy.

    We just had problems when she would refuse for 4 hours, then we would HAVE to go somewhere and once we were out, she still wouldn't nurse though clearly wanted to...very frustrating.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kayla9214 View Post
    I wish there was a forum on here for people to post their whole bfing stories, start to finish, but until then, I will put mine here. I wish I had read one like it back when I got started. I hope you might benefit from my mistake.
    What do you think that would look like exactly? Some of us breastfeed for YEARS. And our whole stories are here. Start to finish. They just unfold. Overtime. In more that one post. In more than one section. And it sounds to me like you did everything right. I am not saying "Ask for help" is terrible advice, but if your baby is eating and gaining and you are doing accurate research which you seemed to be, why WOULD you ask for help?: I never did. I had issues with pain and latch, but I fed on demand and had OALD and me and my kid figured it out. I think feeling guilty in a case like this is counter productive. I think the most important thing any brestfeeding mother can do is find like minded women to show her support. It helps to know you aren't the only one and that others have been where you are and there is light in the tunnel and that it's NOT a train. I am glad that you have been diligent and that your supply bounced back!

    Way too lazy for formula

  6. #6
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    I am not forum savvy enough to know how a specific forum on just that would work, but LLL has been publishing 'mother's stories' for decades in New Beginnings magazine, both the 'real' format of the magazine and the current online version. LLL USA publishes NB now and you can submit your story to them-I imagine there is some info somewhere on here how...Anyway, because of New Beginnings, stories from multiple generations of pre- and post- internet mothers are available on this website.

    Aside from that, I think posting your story right here on the forums wherever you think it fits best is a good ideas and helpful to other moms.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Ooo, I hadn't yet seen New Beginnings. Thanks! That's the kind of thing I wanted to read.

    I'm not beating myself up, I just know that if I have trouble next time, I will get help right away. All the reading I did was no substitute for reaching out to experienced, in-person help.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*kayla9214 View Post
    I'm not beating myself up, I just know that if I have trouble next time, I will get help right away. All the reading I did was no substitute for reaching out to experienced, in-person help.
    amen!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*auderey View Post
    amen!
    Auderey when are you due?

    Way too lazy for formula

  10. #10
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    Default Re: What I will do differently next time

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*djs.mom View Post
    Auderey when are you due?
    sometime in the next 2-6 weeks ... hoping for 4 when i'm done teaching and my mom arrives!
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

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