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Thread: Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

  1. #1

    Default Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

    Hi ladies,

    I am new to the forum. I had my baby at 35 weeks she latched at her first feeding which was about 4 hours after her birth. She seemed to do ok. Well the next morning they informed me I needed to supplement as she had lost 2oz in less than 24 hours. They gave me a S&S device that you pour formula into and then tape a small hose to your breast. Well my baby was not having this so we had to bottle feed her formula and I was pumping my colostrum and bottle feeding her that. Well once we got home I was pumping successfully. I still wanted to attempt breast feeding so I got nipple shields because she was not latching. She immediately latched once I got the shields. All is good on the left but on the right I am having a lot of pain. I have tried to nurse without the shields and she is not having it. My question is can I continue to pump and maintain my supply? I don't want to stop breast feeding but I cannot take the pain on my right side. I can pump with no problem so I know it is her latch on that side. Please let me know if EP will interrupt my supply mid need be I will feed on the left and strictly pump the right. What do you all suggest. All advice is wanted and appreciated!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby! It is wonderful that you have gotten this far despite facing some pretty significant challenges.

    The first thing I have to say if that I am a little puzzled by the advice you got in the hospital. It is entirely normal for newborns to lose weight in the first 2-5 days before the mom's mature milk comes in. 2 oz in less than 24 hours does not seem like a lot of weight to me, but perhaps your baby warranted special concern because she was born early. IDK. It still seems to me that you were pushed down a path that has caused you a fair number of problems.

    It's awesome that you had no trouble getting a supply going, and that your baby will latch with the shield. If the shield keeps the baby at the breast, keep on using it. Potential problems from shield use are secondary to keeping the baby nursing.

    You can definitely continue to use the pump to make up for any deficit in stimulation/milk removal caused by the shield and the baby's difficult latch. You should just be aware that in general, pumps are not as good as babies at maintaining milk supply. So if you see your output starting to slump, you will need to add in more pump sessions, perhaps upgrade to a better pump, and maybe see a lactation consultant for professional help with pumping.

    I would actually really like to see you go in and see a LC, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help right now. She should be able to help you with positioning, may be able to get the baby to latch painlessly or at least less painfully on the right side, and should also check the baby for tongue tie, evaluate the baby's nursing effectiveness, and help you with pumping.

    So, basically keep doing what you're doing! Other than seeing the IBCLC, I only have one suggestion, and that's to continue to try the baby on the right side even if it causes you pain. You don't want to get stuck EP on the right if you don't have to, and continuing to give the baby chance to feed from the right breast will probably help her stay interested in latching onto that side. It's an investment that will pay off in the long term- and by "long term" I mean "within the next few months." Not that long, considering how fast babies grow and change!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

    Mommal thank you for the advise. Because she was a premie and was only 5lbs 5oz they were concerned she lost 2 oz in less than 24 hours weight loss was expected but not that much that quick. So if I continue to use the shields since it does keep her on the breast how can I get so e comfort...it's so painful I want to cry and for the first time she hurt my left side too...when she latches onto the shield she latches as if it was a bottle with a really small mouth. She doesn't not open wide and then latch. Please help me! I want to continue to give her the best!!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

    I've been dealing with pain with nursing also. We are almost 3 weeks in and things are finally getting better. I agree with seeing an IBCLC. In the meantime a couple things that have helped me:
    - Ibuprofen. If you aren't taking a prescription strength following delivery I would do 400mg every 6 hours, around the clock.
    - Don't let het keep a shallow latch. If you know it is too shallow break it and try again. Be patient waiting for the wide open mouth. If you start getting frustrated stop for a minute, go get a drink of water or wash your face, take a few deep breaths and try again.
    - Motherlove nipple cream is awesome.
    - Relax as much as you can. Make sure you are sitting comfortably, well supported, relax your shoulders, practice some deep breathing, put some music on or watch something that will make you laugh.

    Everyone keeps telling me this gets easier and I am finally starting to believe them - hang in there mama!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

    Thank you very much! Her latch is very shallow because of the shields. Poor girl is so use to bottles that the real nipple seems almost repulsive to her. I have decided to do a 24 hour log and find out how much I am actually producing. So I will do EPing to see where I'm at and to see if I need to get on a supplement. I know breast is best, but I'm in pain so I can't relax enough to give my LO what she needs. I am fine with her being bottle fed, I just want her to get as much BM as she can. Thank you all for your help and words of encouragement. I go to my OBGYN on Monday so I will also see if she has any LC names in my area.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: Almost 2 week old and having painful feedings

    One way to get your baby to open wider is to try the following trick: when giving her a bottle, don't let her get away with a half-open mouth. Tickle her lips with the bottle nipple and wait until she opens WIDE before allowing the bottle into her mouth. Also, try to show her what you want her to do by opening your own mouth very wide; even very young babies will sometimes mimic mom's facial movements.

    Before you do this 24 hour log, I think you should consider the following things:
    - Pumping is generally not an accurate measure of milk supply. Babies often get considerably more from the breast than the pump does.
    - 24 hours of no nursing could make your baby's latch even worse, or make her reject the breast altogether.

    There are other ways to measure your baby's intake. You could go by diaper output and weight gain. Those generally give a good picture of whether or not the baby is getting enough. If you want an even more accurate picture of intake, see the LC and rent a professional scale, one that reads to the 1/10th of an oz. By weighing your baby before and after feedings, and subtracting the before from the after, you can figure out exactly how much she gets when nursing. This weigh-feed-weigh approach is often part of an office visit with a LC, but I am in favor of taking a scale home for a few days because one single measurement at the LC's office only provides a snapshot of intake. You want an average derived from lots of feedings over the course of a day or more, since intake can vary a lot.

    Is there a La Leche League in your area? I think the sooner you can get hands-on help, the better. The local LLL leader may know the LCs and IBCLCs in your area, and can probably get you help sooner than Monday.

    I totally understand why you are less concerned about how the baby gets your milk than how much milk she gets. It can be really, really scary to have a very small baby. You're always thinking about just how few pounds seperate them from not existing at all. But it is definitely worth trying to make nursing work. Nursing will get better and easier with time. Pumping typically only gets more difficult.

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