I am a first time Mom & my beautiful little girl & I are trying to figure this breastfeeding thing out, but things are not going well for us. To be honest, I'm at my wit's end. As if this isn't all hard enough (coming home with a baby/adjusting/etc.) I have to deal with a sleeping baby who will not wake up for feedings. My little girl is just one week old tomorrow, so we are only talking about a few days here...
When we left the hospital, the Dr. (Pediatrician) who visited her from the informed us that she had "lost too much weight" and to come the next day for a weight check. Went to the Dr. on her 4th day of life & she had gone from 8.9 (birth weight) to 7.13. Dr. strongly suggested supplementing with formula. Gave me some with a siringe. Tried it twice, but didn't want to AT ALL. I think Dr. scared me because she had lost just under 10% (but isn't that normal?) After some research, I think she is OK. Anyway, my milk came in that very night. She has lots of poop diapers a day (maybe 5 or 6) and diaper is always thouroughly soaked when I change her each time.
So, I am scared that she isn't getting enough milk (and who wouldn't be a little if a Dr. told you she lost too much weight) AND I am exhausted because she SLEEPS ALL OF THE TIME and I CANNOT WAKE HER TO FEED FOR LONGER THAN 2 MINUTES AT A TIME!!!! I am coming close to losing it! This is how our feedings go:
I wake her up to feed. If I let her sleep and wake up on her own, she sleeps for four or more hours.
Totally asleep, I take her into the nursery. I try different things like changing her diapers, pulling off her clothes, putting clothes back on, massaging her limbs, tugging on toes, underarm, tickling feet, wet towel on back, blowing on her.
When she finally roots or shows signs of waking, she latches on. Sometimes after a few sucks, she is back to sleep. Usually she will nurse 2 minutes inconsistantly and fall back asleep, refusing to be woken. Usually she lets go of my nipple or it gradually slides out. I try and latch her back on, but her lips remain TIGHTLY pursed/closed. I then do all the things listed above to wake her, but it just doesn't work. I burp her and burp her but nothing happens. After 5, sometimes 10 minutes, I may be able to (if I'm lucky) get her to suck for 4 minutes max, but usually its just another one or two or less. And then we go through it all over again - the pulling off & on of clothes, diaper checks, etc. It sometimes takes 50 minutes to get 10 minutes of feeding time in.
Sometimes while I am doing the eternal burping, she will quickly wake and root her head. I immediately attempt to put her back on the breast, but she rears her head back and pushes away (still rooting) and then begins to SCREAM uncontrollably and I can't get her on while she's like that. So I have to calm her down and she either falls back asleep or does it all over again. Also, if she chokes/coughs, she pushes herself off the breast and again refuses to go back on. Rather, she choses to sleep.
The few times I have been able to nurse her while fully awake, she seems to do it just fine. It doesn't hurt me, she sucks well and goes for 15 - 20 minutes on one breast.
Last night I got so desperate I figured out my manual pump, put it together, pumped some out & put it in a bottle (against my wishes to withold bottle feeding for now). Guess what happened? Yup - she wouldn't take the bottle either because she was sound asleep. Twice I have fed her with my milk through a siringe, but how can she learn to eat when I do that while she is sleeping??
Someone please help me. If this continues, I don't know HOW I am going to do this. She does have some awake periods during the day (usually post feeding - Aaaarg!). My latest idea is that maybe I shouldn't allow those and just put her strait back to sleep after feedings... Somebody out there MUST have gone through this too!!!!