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Thread: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    12

    Default Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    Hi. I just gave birth a week ago. My little man is just having a tough time of it. First things first, I had a breast reduction when I was younger. I know that this could affect the amount of milk I'm able to produce. So I was prepared to have to supplement. But I'm thinking that supplementing with a bottle is sabotaging my (or rather my baby's) ability to nurse productively. He and I are just having the hardest time coordinating. He's so wiggly and I have a C-section incision and He's really tiny (6lbs even though he was born just 3 days before his due date!!) and even though I had the reduction, my breasts are still really large. I found myself sitting down to nurse him and then getting up 90 minutes later just to supplement with formula because he is STILL hungry/rooting and sucking! Fearing that he was just using me as a pacifier and not really getting anything despite good latch and I what looks like really good deep pulls, sucks, and swallows...I've exclusively pumped today. He takes bottles so much easier. Plus, dad can take over and after 4 nights of marathon feedings, I'm exhausted. Every pump session (20 minutes/breast) is yielding 40 mL, Just under 1 and 1/2 ounces. Is this even enough? Is this why my baby is feeding for over an hour and still taking down half an ounce to 2 ounces of formula before finally getting full enough to sleep? Also, has using bottles completely sabotaged any chance of him ever getting a good latch and actually feeding from the breast successfully? I know having to use the bottle exclusively doesn't make me a failure but missing that bonding time is...well I'm just a wreck. Any advice or empathy would be welcome!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    32

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    Congratulations on the new baby!

    If you are able to pump- then you know you are making milk. And he is latching well, sucking and swallowing? It actually sounds like you are doing great! In the beginning, babies need to nurse constantly. They nurse both for hunger and for comfort. He will want to use you like a pacifier- and let him! The extra suckling is building up your milk supply!

    Newborns are wiggly. They don't know what to do with their little bodies. It might be easier for you to keep baby swaddled for feeding so his little legs stay away from your incision. Babies this little don't know when they are full and always will want to suck- so even if he has a nice full tummy from nursing, he will still take a bottle when offered.

    Breast feeding after surgery is a special circumstance. You should be in touch with a good LC and even join a BF support group if you can. How much you pump can be dependent on what kind of pump you have. But that you are able to pump at all is a good indication that you are making milk for your baby. How much you need to supplement or if you need to at all should be based on how much milk baby is getting from the breast initially- are you monitoring output?

    It's tempting to have dad take over at night- so tempting... but nursing baby at night will also help keep up your milk supply. So if you can- get comfortable and put baby back to breast and let him nurse for as long as he wants to for as often as he wants to. And watch your diaper output. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,355

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    Welcome to the forum!

    A normal feeding for a week old baby is just 1-2 oz (see http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/pumping/milkcalc/). So being able to pump 1.5 oz at a time suggests that at this time, your supply is equal to your baby's needs and supplements are not required. A 1-2 oz bottle after nursing is not a supplement, in this situation- it's an entire additional meal. And because babies are very driven to suck, and because bottles deliver the same amount of milk regardless of whether the baby is sucking lightly for comfort or eagerly for food, it is entirely normal for a baby to take a large feeding from the bottle even after a perfectly adequate feeding at the breast.

    I would definitely contact a LC, as the PP suggested. An IBCLC (a LC but with an advanced and uniform accreditation) would be preferable. You need help with positioning, especially because you had a c-section. And you need to know whether or not exclusive nursing is likely to be possible for you, and how to supplement if it is not.

    ETA: this is a good resource for moms with previous breast surgeries: http://bfar.org/index.shtml
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    12

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    What a difference a day makes!!! Thank you so much for replying! Both posts are very encouraging. I was EXTREMELY relieved to know that the 40mL I was putting out with every pump session was plenty. That took a lot off my shoulders. As did about 4 hours of sleep. I even got baby back to the breast and we've had several successful feeding sessions. And I'm happy to report, the diaper out put is still just as...healthy!! LOL. I have an appointment with a LC today just to be sure everything is looking good and for positioning advice.
    Now if only we could figure out a schedule that doesn't make mommy a tired wreck or daddy a frustrated cranky bottom! I'm so glad I posted. I will have to suggest this site to anyone looking for breastfeeding advice and support.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,355

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    When you say you're looking for a schedule, what do you mean? Can you describe the sort of schedule you think would work for a new baby?

    The reason I ask is that schedules and newborns... Just don't mix. The average newborn nurses at least 10-12 times per 24 hour period, and many nurse more than that. Their feeding and sleeping is going to be erratic, and many have their days and nights mixed up (i.e. they spend most of the day sleeping, and most of the night being up and eating). As babies grow, many of them will decrease their nursing frequency, with most of those babies requiring a minimum of 8 feedings per day in order to get their needs met. And most of them will start to give mom at least one longer stretch of sleep at night- maybe 4-5 hours instead of 1-2. But it's way too early to think about these changes yet.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,911

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    isn't it amazing what 4 hours of sleep can do for the frame of mind in that early intense time? Sounds like you are doing well. I strongly suggest no scedule for feeding baby yet (or ever really.) Like all humans, baby eats best when food is offered whenever he wants it, and that is going to be super frequently for a while.

    Mom and dad take turns napping. And dad can sit on the couch and lean back against the back of the couch with baby snuggled safe on top, on his chest, and get a few winks while you shower or eat something. You can also snuggle baby this way and even try nursing in that position as it is very comfortable. If you have family and friends who can help with meals, errands and cleaning, call that all in.

    Basically, you improvise. That is how you survive the early weeks with a newborn.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    12

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    oh i'm more or less trying to figure out how to squeeze in a few more winks myself. Yesterday was a great feeding day. But I got real tired and both baby and I slept a little later than planned so when dad came to relieve mom so I could sleep in my bed rather than in the recliner in the living room, we were just starting a feeding, then we got fussy...wanted more to eat and then fell asleep on mom again. The schedule is more for mom and dad. Dad went back to work this week. We've kind of worked out that he will get up at midnight and take over so I can get in a few hours and then get back up at 4am so dad can get to work by 5am. He gets home early as a result, but has to be in bed by 4 or 5pm in order to have enough rest to be up at midnight again and work the next day. It works....for the most part. But mom and dad don't see much of each other.

    Just chalk this one up to overly optimistic/wishful thinking of first time parents. We've been home a grand total of seven days now and baby is just 9 days old himself. It's a process I know. But can you fault me for looking forward to longer breaks between feedings and longer bursts of sleeping? I am by no means trying to enforce a feeding schedule on my little guy. But it would be nice if I Could get him to sleep in his bassinet though. But he's pretty much got us wrapped around his finger on that one. so content on mommy's chest, not so much in his bed. Oh well. We'll keep trying. For now my 4-6 hours of sleep seem to be getting me through. and things will get better after a while. (but seriously, my house is a mess!! lol)

    Thanks again for the encouragement! 4 hours will def put your head back on your shoulders....for a little bit.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    2,628

    Default Re: Completely Discouraged and Totally Upset About It

    Messy houses are expected with an infant.
    Nursed my sweet daughter 3 years, 3 mos.

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