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Thread: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

  1. #1

    Default Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    I have a newborn that is 5 days old. I started nursing in the hospital, but required donor breast milk for supplementation. Over the weekend I was able to feed my daughter 5-10 minutes per breast every few hours. Additionally after each feeding I was able to get about 15ml total from pumping. At this point now, I am unable to keep up with my daughter's needs. After visiting the pediatrician today, she said that what I am able to produce should be enough and there is no need to supplement. Prior visiting the pediatrician at 8AM she consumed 65mL and was satisfied. After visiting the pediatrician, she fed for only 5 minutes on one breast and slept for over 3 hours. From then on she required constant feeding that I could not keep up with. She fed on both breasts 45 each and required supplementation of door milk and was still not satisfied. After that 40 minutes on each breast. Within 3 hours she was fed for 2 hours and 10 minutes total from the breast. On top of that I'm still pumping for 15 minutes after every feeding and receiving about 30 mL. As I am writing this my daughter just consumed 100ml in less than an hour through my own milk (30ml) and donor milk (70mL).

    My concern is mainly how am I going to keep up with my daughter's needs. The pediatrician stated that the feeding will only help bring in my milk better, but I have yet to see results. On top of that I'm not sure that my breasts can handle this much longer. My breasts and nipples are extremely sore.

    I need help, Is this normal, what can I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,133

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    First, some questions:
    1. Can you tell us why your baby required donor milk? Was the baby having trouble nursing, was she dropping too much weight, or was something else going on?
    2. How many times per day does the baby nurse?
    3. How much supplement are you using in a 24 hour period?
    4. How does nursing feel? Is it comfortable, or painful?
    5. You say that your breasts and nipples are extremely sore. Can you describe the soreness in more depth? Is it a stabbing pain, a burning pain, or is it more like a bruise?
    6. Are your nipples cracked or blistered?
    7. Is the baby very sleepy, and having a hard time staying away for feedings?

    The pediatrician is correct that in most cases, there is no need for a mom to pump or supplement. The baby will create and maintain a good milk supply through nursing alone. Often babies who have been supplemented from very early on will act fussy even after a completely adequate feeding, because they have come to expect every feeding to conclude with a bottle.
    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

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    1.When my baby was born she weighed 9lbs 3oz then lost 11% body weight in the first day so I begain suppliamenting in the hospital
    2. She nursed 8 times yesterday and nine times the day before
    3.16.6 ounces were feed to her via the bottle yesterday with about 11 ounces of the 16.6 coming from my breast pumping. The day before she consumed 13.5 ounces with only 4 coming from my breast pumping.
    4. Breast feeding fells mostly comfortable. The first let down can sometimes be al= little painful. The first two days in the hospital I feed her for hours at a time, unfortunately, improperly causing my breast to bruise and chap; I believe they are still recovering from this damage.
    5. The pain I feel occurs with contact to my nipples, like my shirt touching them. The pain is hard to describe but it does fell like a burning pain , similar to that of a 'raspberry' or friction wound. This pain may still be my breast recovering from a bad latch system earlier on.
    6. My nipples were cracked and bruised until today they seem to be healing and are looking normal this morning, but I am still feeling pain.
    7. My baby does sleep well and I have had to wake her for feedings, however she does stay awake for the duration of feedings.
    When feeding her I change her diaper first then remove her shirt for chest to chest time until she bobs her head and starts to smack her lips (usually this is anywhere from 1-4 minutes) then I breast feed her for as long as she will take each breast. She is alert during feeding and suckles consistently. Then I will burp her. I then feed her my pumped breast milk from the session before. I will again burp her and dress her back up then swaddle her. At this time I look for the signs of her being still hungry.. bobbing her head suckling my skin smacking her lips and so forth. If she is still hungry (which has been one hundred percent of the time so far I will feed her the additional donor milk. As of right now that is 30ml my milk and 35ml donor milk feed via bottle. After feeding her I use the breast pump. Usually I am able to get 30ml after my last feeding I was only able to extract 5ml.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,133

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    1.When my baby was born she weighed 9lbs 3oz then lost 11% body weight in the first day so I begain suppliamenting in the hospital
    That's a really big weight loss to have happen in the first 24 hours. Did you have IV fluids during the birth?

    2. She nursed 8 times yesterday and nine times the day before
    That's low for a newborn. Most newborns nurse at least 10-12 times a day. A good way to increase your milk supply would be to nurse the baby a lot more often.

    3.16.6 ounces were feed to her via the bottle yesterday with about 11 ounces of the 16.6 coming from my breast pumping. The day before she consumed 13.5 ounces with only 4 coming from my breast pumping.
    That's a lot of supplement, so it's probable that you'll need to drop the supplements a bit at a time. A good way to start would be to drop the supplement size by maybe 1/2 an oz, while watching diaper output. As long as diaper output is normal, then baby is getting enough, and you can drop the supplement by another 1/2 oz after a day or two. You may also want to read up on paced bottle feeding, and to try a technique called "finish at the breast", in which every feeding concludes with unlimited time at the breast, teaching the baby to associate post-feeding feelings of satiation and relaxation with the breast rather than the bottle.

    Can you increase the frequency with which you are pumping? And what sort of pump are you using?

    4. Breast feeding fells mostly comfortable. The first let down can sometimes be al= little painful. The first two days in the hospital I feed her for hours at a time, unfortunately, improperly causing my breast to bruise and chap; I believe they are still recovering from this damage.
    It's great that breastfeeding is comfortable! That means that whatever else is going on, the baby probably has a pretty good latch. And when a baby has a good latch, the baby should be able to feed constantly- literally constantly- and still not cause any soreness or damage to the breast. The fact that you are sore and feeling chapped... Suggests that something is going on here that is not related to latch.

    5. The pain I feel occurs with contact to my nipples, like my shirt touching them. The pain is hard to describe but it does fell like a burning pain , similar to that of a 'raspberry' or friction wound. This pain may still be my breast recovering from a bad latch system earlier on.
    This actually sounds more like thrush or bacterial infection. Did you happen to have a recent course of antibiotics (perhaps for GBS+ or related to a c-section)? How about a recent vaginal yeast infection, or signs of oral thrush in the baby or diaper area yeast infection in the baby?

    6. My nipples were cracked and bruised until today they seem to be healing and are looking normal this morning, but I am still feeling pain.
    Can you describe the cracks? Are they small and slit-like, or more like single large wounds that gape larger after feeding the baby?

    7. My baby does sleep well and I have had to wake her for feedings, however she does stay awake for the duration of feedings.
    When feeding her I change her diaper first then remove her shirt for chest to chest time until she bobs her head and starts to smack her lips (usually this is anywhere from 1-4 minutes) then I breast feed her for as long as she will take each breast. She is alert during feeding and suckles consistently. Then I will burp her. I then feed her my pumped breast milk from the session before. I will again burp her and dress her back up then swaddle her. At this time I look for the signs of her being still hungry.. bobbing her head suckling my skin smacking her lips and so forth. If she is still hungry (which has been one hundred percent of the time so far I will feed her the additional donor milk. As of right now that is 30ml my milk and 35ml donor milk feed via bottle. After feeding her I use the breast pump. Usually I am able to get 30ml after my last feeding I was only able to extract 5ml.
    Here's what I think might be happening. You have donor milk, you have a pump- and this means that when your baby appears hungry after nursing, you have the option to top her up with a bottle. Let's say you didn't have that option- what would you do? Well, you'd nurse her again. And again. And again and again and again. That near-constant nursing is normal for a newborn and it's also what builds supply. When you offer the bottle and pump instead of nursing again, 2 things happen. First, your body misses the cue your baby would have given it by nursing again- and the pump isn't as good at stimulating supply as the baby is, so pumping usually isn't a perfect substitute for mores nursing. Second, because the baby has received a supplemental bottle, she goes longer between feedings than she normally would, which means more missed cues.
    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!"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,606

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    Hi jzamor11. I wanted to say I agree with mommal. It is entirely possible you could be making what your baby needs. What you are seeing as signs your baby is not getting enough and you not being able to 'keep up' is entirely normal infant behavior. And what you are able to extract from your breasts when pumping is meaningless, as is what your baby will drink in a bottle, particular at a week old.

    What is not normal is the pain and injury you are having. This is NOT due to your infant needing to nurse pretty much constantly, which again, is normal. It means something is wrong. Nipple pain is an extremely common issue and it is usually fixable. This may be fixed with your own efforts but since you are already supplementing and pumping due (I am assuming) to the pain of nursing, that is leading you down a road you do not want to go. Can you see an IBCLC to have your baby’s latch checked? That is what I would suggest you do if you can, immediately. Yes, it costs money in many cases (although your insurance may cover or there may be some low cost option in your area) but even if you have to pay for an IBCLC entirely out of your own pocket, that is going to be much cheaper than formula. You may not always be able to get donated breastmilk.
    If there is no way to see an IBCLC where you live? Is there any local LLL or othr breastfeeding support? Let us know.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    Thank you all for your advice. I did go to a lactation specialist. They said our latch was great. I posted that message with tears in my eyes while trying to console my baby and I felt her appetite was irregular. I now know that she was cluster eating. My milk production has caught up and for the last two and a half days I have not had to supplement at all. I also notice the feeding clues much easier now and feed her more often. The pain my breast were feeling before is gone. I think I just needed sleep. Now both me and baby are very happy and I am so glad I am able to keep up with her. Thank you for your advice and I am so very happy I don't have to resort to supplementing any longer.
    Thanks Again!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    21,133

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    That's wonderful! Well done, mama. I know it's hard to be confident when faced with the puzzlements of a newborn!
    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!"

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,606

    Default Re: Help... Newborn eating me out of house and home

    thats wonderful jzamore. Thanks for the update. And thanks for the reminder that a little time & a little sleep probably solves more breastfeeding issues than anything else!

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