Happy Mothers Breastfed Babies
Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 29

Thread: Feeling desperate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    8

    Default Feeling desperate

    I am a first-time mom to a little boy born 10 days ago. The lactation consultant at the hospital said he was having problems latching, so she gave me a nipple shield but even with that, he wasn't getting a good suck. She gave us formula to supplement until we went to see the pediatrician and lactation consultant in a few days.

    Fast forward to the first visit, and he had lost 10% of his body weight. We worked with the lactation consultant at our pediatrician and she said he was latching OK (with the nipple shield) but he wasn't sucking productively. We did a weight test and found that he was only taking in 0.5oz per feeding (even though I can pump about 2oz in a sitting). She put us on a schedule - every 3 hours we try to breastfeed, then give him supplement with 2oz of EBM if we have it, or formula if there's no milk, then I pump for 15 minutes on each side. She also not to try nursing him too much since it would probably burn more calories than he was taking in.

    We had our next appointment, and he has only gained 4 ounces in the 10 days since he was born... They said he needs to get back to his birth weight by Tuesday, so that means he has to gain 9 ounces in 5 days. Given our track record, that's not going to happen if I'm nursing & giving him breast milk.

    Every time we run out of EBM and have to give him formula, my heart breaks a little bit. Every time he thrashes around and beats his little fists against my breast, I can't help but cry. And when he latches it feels like a small victory, except he's still just doing these little fluttery sucks and swallowing after 10+ of them... if he doesn't just fall asleep (a deep sleep... the LC threw cold water on him and he didn't wake up - she said she'd never seen that before!).

    The LC seemed resigned at our last appointment (today). She said that sometimes it just clicks, but until then we just need to continue supplementing. I'm worried that my EBM is not going to help him gain weight, that giving him a bottle is going to ruin any chance that he'll be willing to take the breast, that my milk is going to dry up unless I pump every hour, and that I'll never sleep again.

    I'm at my wits end, I can't sleep, and I am not able to enjoy my little boy the way I want to. Please tell me that it will get better and that I'm not destroying my BF relationship with my son!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,653

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    I agree that getting your baby to gain 9 oz in 5 days is unrealistic. His slow start has to be taken into account. I'd rather see him gaining a healthy 1 oz per day and nursing than being stuffed extra-full so that he can regain his birthweight by 2 weeks.

    If this were my baby, at this point I'd want to run out and rent a professional scale, one that is accurate to the 1/10th of an oz. I think a scale could do 2 things for you. First, you could get a sense of his day-to-day weight gain. If he's gaining around 1oz per day, no need to worry even if he doesn't meet the 2 week back-to-birthweight target. Second, with a professional scale you could do your own before-and-after feeding weights, just like the LC did at your office visit. That data will help you know whether or not your baby is getting a good amount when he nurses, or if the supplements are necessary. I know this will be a ton of work- believe me, I've done it! But it really can help you through the rough patch you're in right now.

    What sort of pump do you have? How often are you pumping? And how does pumping feel?
    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
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    614

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Has your baby been checked carefully for tongue and lip tie? Posterior tongue ties seem to be missed a lot, and can really cause issues with latch. Here's a good page to look for pics and suggestions: http://kiddsteeth.com/dental_topics....feeding_health

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,653

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Very good suggestion.
    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
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    I'll have to look into getting a scale.... any idea on where to find one?

    I have a Medela Pump in Style, I'm pumping every 3 hours, after I try to get the baby to nurse and feed him supplement. It feels OK, except my nipples will feel a little raw if I pump too much.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Are you nursing every three hours because that is the schedule you were placed on? Or is it because baby sleeps and must be awoken every single time baby nurses? In other words I'm wondering if there is a way to encourage baby can nurse more often. Every three hours would be pretty infrequent for a baby this age. You can expect a baby want to nurse somewhere around 10 to 15 times a day in these early weeks. Of course nursing more often means more milk into baby, without having to pump and supplement more. Also did you only do one before and after nursing way check? And on what day of life was that done? I'm concerned you think that one half ounce intake is bad news. Yes it would've been reassuring if baby had taken more, however that can be a normal feeding amount. Feeding typically very quite a bit. And the younger baby is, the more likely feedings will be small. In the first week or so of life feedings are not typically very big at all. After about two weeks of age, it is reassuring to see a 2 ounce differential in before and after nursing checks. However again that may not happen every feeding.
    Schedules can be deadly for some mothers.. It is not the way a baby normally nurses. It means that you're getting up every two to three hours to do all these things and never getting a single longer sleep stretch. It also can mean that you are off baby schedule just enough to actually be creating A sleepier baby.
    It sounds to me as if you feel that your lactation consultant has given up on you? And yet there are so many positive things in what you are saying. Your pump output is good, even though you were really not using the right pump for the job you're doing. Baby is gaining.
    I am also a little confused about who is ordering the supplementation. Formula supplements are medical intervention they should only be ordered by a doctor. The lactation consultant works at the pediatricians office. So maybe she is speaking for the doctor. But just as a lactation consultant cannot tell a mother to go off formula if the formula has been ordered by pediatrician, I don't really feel it is a lactation consultants place to order formula either.
    If you're able to pump 2 ounces at a time, why are you needing to supplement with formula? I'm a little confused on that point.
    But I do want to reassure you that neither bottles nor formula mean the end of breast-feeding. However it is very vital that when they are given they are truly necessary, and given in a breast-feeding supportive way. Hopefully you have been taught paced bottlefeeding. Hopefully you have been encouraged to be using a hospital grade rented pump which would be better than your pump in style for what you're asking the pump to do. Hopefully you continue to work on latch as it appears that that is or at least was the primary issue. Rather than your milk production which I think sounds normal?

  7. #7

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Also are you doing as much skin to skin contact as possible? And holding baby most of the time, I realize you can't hold baby when you're pumping or at least it can be quite awkward but otherwise the more baby is held The better for growth and getting nursing off to a good start.
    It won't be like this forever! This is early days. The effort you're putting in now will pay off.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*carm3 View Post
    Has your baby been checked carefully for tongue and lip tie? Posterior tongue ties seem to be missed a lot, and can really cause issues with latch. Here's a good page to look for pics and suggestions: http://kiddsteeth.com/dental_topics....feeding_health
    They did check that in the hospital, but I'm going to see another LC hopefully today or tomorrow, so I'll ask again.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Are you nursing every three hours because that is the schedule you were placed on? Or is it because baby sleeps and must be awoken every single time baby nurses?
    That was the schedule we were given. If he still seems hungry, we wait and feed him more... he seems to like a smaller feeding every night around midnight.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Also did you only do one before and after nursing way check? And on what day of life was that done?
    We did the weigh test at one week, I think?
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    It sounds to me as if you feel that your lactation consultant has given up on you?
    It feels that way... like she's content to have me feed him a frankenstein mixture of formula/milk forever. The doctor's concern is just that the baby gain weight, they don't much seem to care how.
    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    If you're able to pump 2 ounces at a time, why are you needing to supplement with formula?
    We're feeding every 3 hours, which is when I pump. But if the baby is still hungry, we obviously feed him. but sometimes I pump a little less than 2oz or I don't get a chance to pump. That extra feeding at night is the real killer.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    But I do want to reassure you that neither bottles nor formula mean the end of breast-feeding. However it is very vital that when they are given they are truly necessary, and given in a breast-feeding supportive way. Hopefully you have been taught paced bottlefeeding. Hopefully you have been encouraged to be using a hospital grade rented pump which would be better than your pump in style for what you're asking the pump to do. Hopefully you continue to work on latch as it appears that that is or at least was the primary issue. Rather than your milk production which I think sounds normal?
    My LC thought I'd be OK using my medela pump, but I'm going to try to make an appt with a different one today.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    Also are you doing as much skin to skin contact as possible?
    I have been holding him a lot, but it seems that there are always dishes or pumping to be done. I will be better about it, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*lllmeg View Post
    It won't be like this forever! This is early days. The effort you're putting in now will pay off.
    Thank you, I hope so...

  9. #9

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Okay I see you have or are soon going to be seen another lactation consultant. Hopefully this is a board-certified lactation consultant?
    Unfortunately and this is totally anecdotal it does seem that LCs who are attached to doctors offices, or who work in hospitals, tend to take a feeding and weight gain management approach to helping mothers as opposed to a let's get mom and baby nursing approach. Of course everyone wants baby to be healthy and to gain weight appropriately. But that does not mean that every baby gains in exactly the same cookie-cutter way. And it is very important to not lose sight of the long-term goal-an exclusively breast-fed baby, and a healthy and happy breast-feeding relationship. This is what board certified lactation consultants are trained to provide. However the more entrenched in the medical establishment they are, sometimes the less that seems to be the focus.
    Your baby is only 10 days old. At this point very often there are babies were not nursing at all, and whose mothers make no were near enough milk, and yet even those nursing pairs often go on to a happy breast-feeding relationship! No one should be losing hope or becoming resigned to a less than optimal outcome at such an early date. this is not a hopeless situation by any stretch of the imagination!
    I'm curious how things go with the new lactation consultant. But I can tell you that what my general suggestion would be-to not allow pumping and certainly not dishes to come between you and your baby. Surely there is someone else to do the dishes. But there is no one else who can provide what you can for your baby. Holding baby lots will typically lead to a baby cues more often and nurses more often. This would be a good thing. If baby appears hungry after nursing, it might make more sense to nurse baby again rather then going to the pump or the bottle. You can pump at other times and even supplement at other times basically as needed. If a baby require supplements, there is no rule that they have to come after the baby nurses they can come before baby nurses or even it just some other time entirely. The same goes for pumping. You can fit pumping in when ever it works, and that might not necessarily be after every feeding. By the way, if pumping is hurting you might need to dial down on the suction, or pump for slightly shorter length of time also you want to make sure that the flanges fit correctly. If the flange is a little small, as a temporary measure you can try greasing it up with a little olive oil before you pump. Also any bottle should always be in a very small amount. Again 2 ounces would be a good size meal for a 2 week old infant. For more information on bottlefeeding the breast-fed infant, and also for a helpful pumping chard, go to the "tearsheet toolkit" on this site. It's easiest to find if you just put toolkit into the website search engine.
    Hang in there. your baby is nursing, I take it your baby has begun to gain, and you are maintaining or perhaps increasing your milk production with pumping, and now it's just a matter of making sure baby is able to extract milk efficiently so that you can back off on the supplementing and of course that means you will be able to back off on the pumping. It gets way easier when you can just nurse. And I think it is possible you are almost there.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; February 22nd, 2014 at 01:31 AM.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Please excuse typos I have to do everything on my phone and I just can't keep going back and reediting I think everything's clear enough but I really do apologize.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •