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Thread: Please help...new here

  1. #1

    Default Please help...new here

    So my little one is 2 weeks old and I am new to breastfeeding. I didn't know of the resources and didn't have help for my oldest and quit breastfeeding her within the first few weeks.

    I don't know if I should exclusively breastfeed or should I also pump some? I am a stay at home mom and could sit and nurse all day but I don't want to be tied down to the couch all day and night since I do have a 5 year old that needs me too. I would love to be able to pump and have my husband give her bottles some when he is home from work so I can just have some time to myself and to be with my other girl I feel so frustrated because she seems to want to be at the breast all the time!

    However this week she has also started to seem frustrated while at the breast. She is pushing them with her fists (kind of like kneading) and then sucks really hard and pulls her head back while still latched on and that hurts! She also seems to be gumming my nipple (like a bite) and wow that is painful too. I can hear her swallowing so I know there is milk there, but she is not guzzling so I know its not an oversupply that is making her angry. Anyway she will pop off quite forcefully and start to cry and eat her hand so she is still hungry but I just don't know what she is doing????

    So I guess I need help with the angry baby at the breast and when and how often I should pump? I sure hope I can get some help here I am at a loss.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,808

    Default Re: Please help...new here

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby and on making it through the first 2 weeks of nursing her!

    It is generally recommended that moms delay introducing bottles and pumping into their lives for at least the first 4-6 weeks. During that time, you want to give yourself and your baby every possible chance to master breastfeeding at the breast. Once that is going really well, then you can introduce things like bottles, pumps, and pacis, because at that point they will be less likely to result in negative complications like nipple confusion, oversupply, latch problems, etc.

    I totally understand your frustration at being tied to the couch, unable to do anything but nurse the baby. But please keep in mind that the first few weeks are really supposed to be this way. It's not a failure on your part if you're not running around, taking your big girl to the park, scrubbing the toilets, cooking all the meals. It's just how life is with a newborn. Everyone around you- and that includes your 5 year-old- should be doing their best to support YOU, making it possible for you to give the new baby the best possible start.

    It gets better, I promise. Right now your baby needs to nurse all the time, and she probably takes a long time to feed and is difficult to position. But as babies get older, bigger, stronger, and more coordinated, they learn to feed much more rapidly- by a few months old many of them are capable of getting a full feeding in just 5-10 minutes at the breast. They also tend to space their feedings out a bit, and become so adept at positioning themselves that they can latch on with minimal help from you.

    The frustrating behavior you're seeing at the breast- the kneading, gumming, pulling off, etc.- can have many causes. As long as diaper output remains normal, it's probably just baby's way of trying to get milk to let down, or to cope with the flow when it becomes too fast for her. Things you can do about it:
    - Experiment with laid-back positions, since they tend to reduce fast letdowns and because they often require less positioning work from you
    - Experiment with lots of different positions- you never know what will work best for you!
    - See a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help- she may be able to pick up on something that cpjust can't be conveyed over the internet

    My advice: give yourself a month- at least!- to heal from the birth, regain your strength, and master breastfeeding. And give your baby that much time to figure out how to get her needs met without kicking up a huge fuss. If you reach the 4-6 week zone and you're still having trouble, then let's talk about pumping and bottles and what they may be able to do for you.
    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
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,207

    Default Re: Please help...new here

    Hi mama, welcome to the forum! That is great that you are breastfeeding your new baby.

    I would suggest NOT pumping at this point. Your baby is very young and the best way to establish a strong breastfeeding relationship is to nurse frequently. Introducing a bottle at this early point runs the risk of baby developing a preference for the bottle over the breast. And pumping is a pain.

    It is entirely normal for a newborn to basically spend all day and night at the breast, and for mom to spend all day on the couch. It won't be like that forever though! I suggest making yourself comfortable on the couch - gather up your phone, computer, books and games for your 5-year-old, and snacks and drinks for yourself and your older daughter. You can actually accomplish a lot even while being parked on the couch! I have read lots of books to my older kids while nursing the youngest. Or your older girl can snuggle up to you and tell you about her day. Or she can sit on the couch next to you playing a game, or on the floor playing and interacting with you. I guess what I am saying is, having a baby does not mean you cannot still interact with the older one. In some ways it is actually easiest in baby's early days, because as long as baby is on the breast she is usually happy and not needing much more!

    Baby being frustrated on the breast: she may be going through a growth spurt and wanting more milk. In which case the solution is to let her nurse more to increase your supply. If she gums the nipple or latches in an uncomfortable way, take her off and re-latch.

    Here's an article about normal newborn behavior:
    http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Keep it up mama, you're doing great!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,259

    Default Re: Please help...new here

    When my now-14 month old daughter was born, her next oldest sibling was 6. I was surprised how much 'regression' and frustration my 6 year old son had with having a baby sibling. Not with baby nursing. With the simple, unhappy reality of having a baby sibling! I guess I thought he would handle it better at that age. But it was actually worse than it was between him and his older brother, and they are under 3 years apart. If you are having any issues in this area I can offer a few suggestions.

    Bottom line, if baby is gaining normally and breastfeeding is mostly comfortable for you, everything else is fine tuning. No need to complicate your life and very possibly cause more issues by pumping and bottles at this point. Would you really be able to interact better with your older daughter while pumping than while nursing? And where would baby be at that time? When your husband comes home, he can meet the needs of your older daughter much more easily than he can meet the needs of your baby. Or he can take then both so you can take a shower!

    I have seen that many moms struggle with thinking they are somehow neglecting an older child by nursing a younger sibling. These feelings seem particularly pronounced when the older child was not breastfed or not breastfed for as long as mom might wish.

    But this is just not true. You re NOT neglecting your older child by providing her infant sister with what a baby normally needs. Children almost always resent new siblings and have difficulty adjusting. This happens whether or not mom is breastfeeding.

    The fact is, baby has to come first. An infant physically requires mom basically all the time and a 5 year old does not. And of course there are many things you can do with your five year old while nursing and/or holding your baby.

    I agree with mommal esp. about trying lots of different positioning. Laid back (and 'laid back' encompasses many different positions) and also sidelying often helps a lot with the type of 'angry kneading' behavior you are seeing. You do not have to be lying all the way back to do laid back! This is a perfect position for the couch or anywhere. I will link some info in next post.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; October 19th, 2013 at 11:43 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,259

    Default Re: Please help...new here

    Some helpful positioning and early days info –

    Laid back position http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfeeding.pdf

    Laid back video- this also shows early cueing and mom also has a young child as well as baby. http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    This video is not in English but it does not matter. Shows the versatility of laid back nursing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SZ3zb5OYMA

    What is normal in the early weeks with a breastfed baby http://kellymom.com/bf/normal/newborn-nursing/

    Feeding cues: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...eding_cues.pdf

    Diaper log (for tracking poops if you are concerned about baby getting enough milk) http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; October 19th, 2013 at 11:47 AM.

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