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Thread: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    19

    Default 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    Hi there,

    I need advice as I'm not sure what to do.

    So this happens a few times a day: my baby will drain both of my breasts until there is nothing left. She gets frustrated and after checking I can tell there is no more milk coming out. In other words, my supply does not meet the demand. When this happens, I have no choice but to give her a bottle .

    What do I do at this point?

    A few times a day, after nursing, I pump for 2 minutes on each side, is that not sufficient to increase supply? Should I pump after every time I nurse her and increase the time?

    I also drink one cup of mothers milk tea per day.

    Is there anything else I can do to meet my babys demands?

    I use a nipple shield because my nipples are completely flat (have tried without to no avail). I know this can negatively affect my supply but there is really nothing to latch onto when it comes to my nipples.

    Thank you so much in advance for your help!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    Can you give us a little history?
    Is this your first baby? If not, have you breastfed before?
    About How many times in 24 hours does baby nurse?
    How often does baby poop every day, how big are they, and what do they look like?
    Do you have baby's weight check history-birth weight, etc.?
    How many times a day does baby get a bottle and how much is in it each time, and how long has baby been getting bottles?
    When using nipple shields some mothers DO have to pump pretty often, and probably longer than 2 minutes per side. What kind of a pump are you using?
    Have you worked wiht anyone on ways to help baby latch without sheilds?
    Are your breasts ever hard or engorged? Or always soft? Do you ever feel some fullness before nursing, softer after-anythign else to report about how your body is feeling?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    19

    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    I really need advice so I will answer whatever I can right away.

    It's my second baby. I breastfed my first for 1 month, it was never much succesful as baby refused my breasts (due to flat nipples) and no one had told me about nipple shields (she had been given bottles in the nursery without my approval) so I pumped but then I got very sick (infection, fever, shivering, nothing coming out etc etc) and it was all over.

    This baby nurses 10-12 times per day. She loves to cluster feed for many hours. Poops with every or every other feed. Semi runny, mustard color with yellow seeds in it.

    Birth weight: 3710 kg. Was down to 3500 4 days ago.

    The bottle is 50 ml and she takes almost the whole thing. But I only give her bottle once or twice per day when I have nothing left.

    It's a manual medela pump. When pumping (to increase supply) not much comes out since baby takes what's available.

    Yes, I have worked with several lactation consultants to get the baby to latch by doing a squeeze, still nothing for my baby to latch onto, very difficult and challenging.

    My breasts are usually soft. But I do feel multiple let downs per day. Occasionally they will hurt a little bit or feel semi-full but they are mostly soft. Now my nipples are hurting bad because baby was sucking so hard when nothing was coming out, anything I can do to heal them other than nipple cream?

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    Ok, first off, I do not think you mean 3710 kilograms? Also, can you possibly convert to pounds and ounces anyway?

    But I get it, baby appears to have lost weight. I assume you know it is normal for baby to lose weight the first few days (up to 7% of birthweight or even more can be entirely normal) and then start to regain. Was there any weight check in between birth and day 10 or whenever that last weight check was done?

    Because output (poops) sound normal, and if it comes out, it must have gone in, right? nursing frequency is also normal and really, everything else. So based on that evidence, baby should be starting to regain some weight by now. Typically what we want to see is baby back up to birthweight by 10-14 days.

    Were there any other weight checks between birth and 4 days ago, and when is baby weighed again?

    But I only give her bottle once or twice per day when I have nothing left.
    Your body is always making milk. I am not saying your baby may not need supplements, she may. But I suggest it is not helpful to think that you have 'nothing left.' You actually want your breasts to feel "empty" fairly often. The 'emptiness' is what increases milk production.
    Also, this is very tricky period. Typically, milk production and what baby needs starts very very very low the first few days, increases very rapidly the next 7-10 days, and then continues to increase but more slowly for at least the first month. Then it levels off and stays the same. So two weeks is a time of fairly rapid change.

    not much comes out since baby takes what's available
    This is your assumption. My assumption is, this pump is not up to the job you are asking it to do, or the pump is ill fitting (flanges the wrong size.) We will know the truth of who is right with more evidence! But in any case, of course you are right, if baby is nursing well and effectively, there may not be much milk when you pump. This does not mean there is not enough milk for baby.

    here is the thing. IF, and with that output, I am not convinced, but IF your baby is actually not able to get enough milk from you, there are two possible reasons why. 1) You do not make enough milk or 2) baby is unable to extract the milk effectively. Or both.

    These are both usually fixable at least to some degree. But we need to know what we are trying to fix, or if anything actually needs fixing.

    meanwhile, to make sure you are protecting your milk production, I would suggest getting a better pump and pumping a little longer after each nursing session, at least 5-10 minutes per side, or if that is not doable, pump whenever/as much as you can you can. Don't worry about how much you get, just pump as you can.
    Can you get a better pump? A double sided electric at least, and at best, a 'hospital grade' rented pump?

    Did one of the LC's give you the nipple shield? did she suggest the need to pump or any of this to you?

  5. #5
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    Now my nipples are hurting bad because baby was sucking so hard when nothing was coming out, anything I can do to heal them other than nipple cream?
    ugh, i missed this. sorry! ok. usually the best way to fix nipple soreness is to fix the latch. if this is getting worse over time, rather than better,
    in your case, i suggest-
    -make sure the pump is not causing pain or injury
    -be very careful to make sure the sheild is on right and the right size so not causing friction or pinching.
    -Keep using the breast sandwhich to help baby get a good mouthful even with the sheilds
    -if you have not tried laid back positioning, try it. or try it again. facilitates good latch
    -try other positions
    -consider All purpose nipple ointment. It has to be compounded. search online jack newman apno
    -rule out thrush or other topical skin issue
    -let your nipples air dry between feedings
    -let expreseed breastmilk dry on your nipples
    -keep sheilds clean and dry between nursing sessions
    -ditto pump parts-clean at least. clean sheilds and pump parts that touch you & bottle nipples carefully

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    also some moms have found salt water rinse helpful see http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mother/nipplehealing/

    and there is evidence occasional soap and water wash helps see http://cwgenna.com/nhygiene.html

    my favorite latch links see- Tips with pictures on latch and different positioning ideas (includes side lying) http://www.llli.org/faq/positioning.html

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

    Laid back video http://www.biologicalnurturing.com/video/bn3clip.html

    Here are two simple pictorials, you want the one on latch. Notice that the mother is in a “slightly” laid back position, looks like on a couch? This is a very “adjustable” position, play around to find how you and your baby are most comfortable. http://cwgenna.com/quickhelp.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

    latch and 'Breast sandwich' article http://www.llli.org/llleaderweb/lv/lvfebmar04p3.html (probably only needed if baby cannot latch or latch is hurting mom)

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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    The bottle is 50 ml and she takes almost the whole thing. But I only give her bottle once or twice per day when I have nothing left
    so this is about 1.5 ounces if I am not mistaken-so, not much at all, which is good. This represents a little less than one average feeding at 2 weeks of age. Assuming baby is getting enough, which is best told via weight gain, supplements are not needed even if baby acts like they are. Babies, esp. very young babies, will very often take what is in a bottle they are offered whether they 'need' it or not. So the good news is, if this is all baby needs, it is a very small amount. And it is possible baby does not even need this.

  8. #8
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    Oct 2013
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    I have to say that introducing a bottle is a mistake if your goal is to increase supply and have a purely breastfeeding relationship. I know it is REALLY hard but sometimes you just need to struggle through 2-3 days of her being latched to you - she will be suckling constantly because you, in fact, are not producing enough milk. But you WILL produce enough after a day or two... as long as you don't start giving her bottles.

    I remember going through a couple of difficult days like this, but in the end, as always, my supply began to meet her needs.

    A couple of difficult days will save you many months of bottle cleanings/formula buying...

  9. #9
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    Thank you for all the useful advice ladies!

    But perhaps I just need to explain the main issue better... Here is an example: baby nurses about 25 minutes on each breast and all goes well... however, baby loves to cluster and goes back to the breast shortly after this 50 minute nursing session... this is when the problem arises... After a minute at the breast she realizes there is nothing there... she gets red, sucks very hard, gets very frustrated, starts flapping with her arms and scratches me... I confirm there is nothing coming out. This is when I dont know what to do other than giving her the bottle. It's a real dilemma, giving her a bottle is not what I want, but if I don't she will scream of hunger. So what do I do when the above happens?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
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    May 2006
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    Default Re: 2 week old nurses until I have nothing left, help!

    When the baby goes back to the breast shortly after a long nursing session, what does she do? Does she act frustrated but generally stay on the breast? If that is the case, the best thing to do is to let her nurse, switching her back and forth between breasts whenever frustration is peaking.

    The breast is never really empty, and in general the baby will always be able to get milk out of it if allowed to nurse. It may be flowing slower than she likes, but that will incentivize her to suck harder and drain the breast more thoroughly. The more empty the breast gets, the faster milk is made to replace what is being removed.

    Evening nursathons are tiring and often frustrating, but they are the baby's way of training your body to make more milk.

    If you continue to give a bottle during the fussy period, I suggest doing the following:
    1. Nurse as much as possible, even when the baby appears frustrated.
    2. Offer a small bottle, perhaps 1 oz or so, and then put the baby back onto the breast for an unlimited amount of time.
    3. Pump after the baby is done to make up for any stimulation that the baby didn't give you due to getting the bottle.
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