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Thread: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

  1. #1

    Default I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    Friends, please ease my frazzled mind?

    Our boy is 11 days old -- we were getting wet diapers but no poop, so we met with an LC on day 8, she's got us waking him every 3 hours to try the breast, then pumping & feeding from a bottle. Nursing + pumping 9 times a day is getting exhausting, and today's news is that the next step is to add an SNS (tube) while he's at the breast.

    That just sounds like a whole new flavor of complication.. has anyone else done this? How long should we expect this to go on for, and what additional gadgets should we expect to rear their heads?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    132

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    Nursing 9 times a day doesn't sound like too much at all (not to say it doesn't get tiring!). All that pumping will definitely increase your supply! When I was on a nurse-pump "program" to increase supply we did 2 weeks and then weaned off the supplements for another few weeks. I guess it's only overkill if things are just fine without. Was there a problem with Baby's weight gain?

    ETA: knowing there was a light at the end of the tunnel made all that pumping bare able for me. You can do it!

  3. #3

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    I agree with previous poster. Was baby gaining weight or not? Is baby gaining now? Is baby pooping now? Monitoring poop output is helpful As poops are an indicator that all is well between weight checks. But it is normal weight gain that is the final arbiter of whether baby is getting enough milk. Babies do typically lose weight the first few days but then they should begin to gain, and the general rule of thumb is that if baby is back up
    to birthweight by 10 to 14 days things are probably going okay. Www.kellymom.com has a good article on what to expect in the early weeks with a newborn baby.
    Besides overall weight gain doing before and after nursing weight checks can give you more information about if baby is able to transfer milk efficiently. Have you done any of those with your lactation consultant?

    If your baby continues to need to be supplemented, then it can be with the SNs (or another brand of lactation aid or even a homemade lactation aid) rather than the bottle. In other words SnS would allow baby to be supplemented at the breast. Although the Sns can be difficult for some mothers to use, it also can be very helpful in that it eliminates the step of giving baby a bottle and of course prevents baby getting nipple confusion. Basically the lactation aid would take the place of bottles. For an article explaining why this can be helpful, I suggest you visit the website of Catherine Watson Genna. She has a section called clinical corner look at the article called helping mothers work smarter not harder or something like that.
    If baby requires supplements, then pumping is needed, both to maintain or increase milk production, and also so the baby can be supplemented with mothers own milk as much as possible. I understand how exhausting pumping nursing and bottlefeeding can be and probably the last thing you want to hear is to increase the frequency of nursing sessions. However just because you increase nursing sessions, does not mean you need to pump or supplement more often. In fact if you can get baby nursing more often, you can
    probably pump less and supplement less. Just Nursing is much easier, so that is the direction you want to be going in.
    Generally, one can expect a normal healthy newborn infant to want to nurse somewhere around 10 to 15 times a 24 hour day. Some babies tend to be very sleepy particularly in the first two weeks especially if there have been birth interventions or medications. But if baby is now getting adequate nutrition, baby should begin waking up and requesting to nurse more often. Of course if baby is being over supplemented, that can cause issues were baby will not wake often enough to nurse so that something to think about. Also if baby is gaining normally and continues to not poop much at all, that may indicate some other issue that has nothing to do with breast-feeding.

    I agree the least complicated option is usually the best one. Of course the least complicated option would be to have baby nursing exclusively at the breast. However if for some reason baby cannot get enough milk that way then pumping and supplementation is required. Typically this is a temporary measure until baby becomes more efficient at the breast and mothers milk production increases.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,607

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    with the PPs.
    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
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Idaho
    Posts
    3,787

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    I totally agree with pp. I've been pumping and nursing and using the sns now for four weeks. It seems overwhelming at first and some days it is. But it does get easier. Hang in there.
    Allie
    Wife to T
    Mother to 4 crazy ones

  6. #6

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*avery.mom View Post
    I totally agree with pp. I've been pumping and nursing and using the sns now for four weeks. It seems overwhelming at first and some days it is. But it does get easier. Hang in there.
    Ugh, four weeks? I'm not sure we can keep this up for four weeks. If we're still on this track in 2 weeks, with no improvement at the breast, I think we'll have to surrender. There's just NO time in the day for anything else on this program.

    More info: We got a lot of conflicting advice from different LCs in the hospital (use the nipple shield, don't use it -- nipples are too flat, no they aren't -- pump and feed, don't pump, just feed.). First night home, we gave him the breast 10 times in 12 hours and he wound up screaming hungry -- we gave him a formula bottle that night.

    Continued trying breast then giving formula for the next couple days, getting wet diapers but not soiled. First pediatric appt. (day 6) showed no weight change from hospital discharge. Started with the LC on day 8, he registered a small gain. She put us on breast, pump, bottled BM, bottled formula program.. the dirty diapers started coming, but he's not improving at the breast as far as we can tell.

    Due to see the LC again tomorrow, and presumably add the SNS. I'm not sure we can take much more complexity to this.. we don't want to bail out, but can't keep this pace up much longer.

    For something that's supposed to be natural, why does *everyone* seem to have such trouble breastfeeding?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,607

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    Because "natural" isn't the same as "easy"! Think of all the things that are natural- childbirth, swimming, running long distances, carrying heavy loads- they aren't necessarily easy, either.

    When you go see the LC, I suggest asking her to show you how to do a before and after feeding weight. She should do this as part of the office visit. Then, I'd love to see you rent a scale for home use, so that you could do your own weights. The reason this can be helpful is that it allows you to know exactly how much your baby took in while nursing, and also over the course of the day if you are diligent about it. Of course it means more work for you- but it also gives you a better idea of how much of your current rigamarole is necessary.
    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
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    349

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    I want to chime and and point out that the first 6 weeks or so of a baby's life nursing can be demanding, but it gets soooo much easier after that. It may seem daunting right now, but if you can get things worked out and keep at the breast, generally things get much easier. I can't imagine having to carry around formula, clean bottles, know where to get clean water, etc. everywhere I go or went with my little ones. The early days can be tough, but well worth the time.
    FT working momma to a 9/11/10 busy boy and 11/13/12 happy little man.
    Also wife to hubs since 8/23/08, bonus momma to H (girl) -99 and G (boy)-03
    Our family blog
    And my own blog

  9. #9

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    Yes, we've weighed before/after with both LC's (now have seen two) -- it seems like he's eating about 1 oz in 20+ minutes, so we're doing that then supplementing with another ounce (he's 2 weeks old) from bottle every 1.5-2.5 hours. And pumping. It's really a lot of work, and it's hard to tell if he's getting any more efficient at the breast… and of course he seems to latch better / eat more when we're with the LC than when we're home alone. Four hands on the merchandise make it all go together much easier than just two.

    Plus, after he eats, he stays awake for a while (not crying, seems content, thank goodness!), so he maybe gets an hour of sleep before it's time to wake him up again to start the whole process over.

    Add to that we're seeing plenty of wet diapers, but only about 1-per-day poopy in the last couple of days.

    We're now doing mouth/jaw exercises intended to improve his suck; will see where that gets us. Waking him is the most troubling part.. adds a lot of time to the whole operation and EVERYONE keeps saying don't wake the sleeping baby. When we'll ever be able to just let him sleep & wake & eat on his own schedule, I have no idea.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,607

    Default Re: I am going insane -- is my LC crazy?

    There's a really important exception to the "don't wake a sleeping baby" rule, and that is that you don't wake a sleeping baby unless there's a problem with weight gain or a problem with nursing. Until you have weight gain and nursing on track, it is more than okay to wake the baby. Interrupting the baby's sleep doesn't hurt him.

    Your baby is just 2 weeks old. That is early, early days. You can expect things to get easier, but the first few weeks- they're tough for everyone!
    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!"

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