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Thread: Feeling desperate

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    We finally got him to gain weight! 4.6 ounces in 2 days - the doctor was impressed. We have one more weight check next week to make sure he's back to his birth weight.

    Unfortunately, we managed the weight gain by pretty much moving to an exclusive-pumping type situation. I still try to latch him on, but he screams whenever I try to get him on the shield, won't latch well even on that, and then he refuses to suck hard enough to get any milk. I will do breast compressions and hear him swallow, but he doesn't take that any further. We saw a different doctor on Friday, and she said he might be a little tongue-tied but didn't recommend we try to fix it. He still does the thing where he sticks his tongue out of the side of his mouth and knocks the nipple out.

    I also caught my husband doing NOT paced bottle feeds, so I'm now afraid that's why the baby is being lazy, if he has already developed a flow preference and I'm going to be stuck exclusively pumping forever. On the one hand, it's easier (since my husband can give him a bottle and I can just pump), but it's not what I wanted and I have heard that EP is a lot of work.

    The LC we saw a week ago agreed that the baby had to gain weight, so she recommended we continue with what the pediatrician said to do. I didn't realize that they won't contradict your doctor's advice. At this point, we've spent so much money on breastfeeding that I'm not sure my husband is going to agree to let me see anyone anymore. There's a free breastfeeding clinic on Wednesday that I'm going to try to go to, but I don't know if they will be too swamped to actually help.

    Is there still hope, or should I resign myself to EPing?

  2. #22
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Of course there's still hope! This is still very early days. Keep offering the breast, and don't worry if the baby is "just" pacifying himself there. You want him to associate the breast with feelings of comfort.

    Is baby better at taking the bare breast than the shield? If so, go bare!
    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. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    619

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*paranoidasteroid View Post
    At this point, we've spent so much money on breastfeeding that I'm not sure my husband is going to agree to let me see anyone anymore.
    I just want to point out that investing in breastfeeding help NOW, even if you spend a little more, is likely to be waaay cheaper than buying formula for a year! Keep working at it, don't get discouraged! I'm wondering why they don't want to do anything about the tongue tie, since that seems to be a contributing factor to his latch difficulties?

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,306

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Go to the breast-feeding clinic. At this point what do you have to you can lose? In my experience breast-feeding clinics are sometimes very busy and other times no moms shows up.
    There is certainly hope. I promise you. Some babies take many weeks to breast-feed effectively. Meanwhile you do what you have been doing which is protect milk production by pumping, and feed baby in a breast-feeding supportive way. If your husband can't or won't learn how to do this then you can bottlefeed your baby. But even paced bottlefeeding is not a 100% guarantee that baby will not begin to refuse the breast. Babies are not dumb, if they keep getting fed from a bottle, they are likely to stop associating the breast with feeding and comfort. So I would also strongly suggest you continue to offer baby to nurse. And even if baby doesn't nurse bring baby to your breast repeatedly just holding baby there in close contact with you as much as possible. You want baby to continue to associate you and your body with comfort. So what if at this point the feeding at the breast is not all that effective? That is why you're supplementing- you are supplementing to make sure baby gains but you are bringing baby to the breast in order to make sure baby continues to understand what the breast is for.

    Now I understand that everyone is very concerned about baby's gain, And that is why you're doing such frequent weight checks. But I have to point out again that looking at again over these tiny periods can be very misleading. People say baby under three months old "should' gain about an ounce a day. But that does not mean that the baby will normally gain exactly an ounce exactly every day. Rather that when you stand back and look at a three-month-old they should've gained about 6 pounds since their lowest known weight
    After birth, or about 2 pounds a month.
    If baby has lost a lot of weight in the first week, then it can be entirely normal for baby to take a little longer to get back to birthweight. That is why measuring gain in the early weeks in particular can be very tricky.
    Here is why this is important. You say that you only achieved the very rapid gain of over 2 ounces per day in the last few days due to almost exclusively pumping and bottlefeeding. But how do you know that? You don't know if baby would've gained the same amount if you'd been exclusively nursing Over that same period of time In other words it is an assumption based on the fact that baby wasn't gaining well exclusively breast-feeding before. It may even be a correct assumption. but there is no way to know for sure, because weight gain does not happen in precise increments, and also because many factors can affect the rate at which a baby gains. 's the situation is typically very fluid in the first couple of weeks. Mother's milk production and babies effectiveness at nursing both tend to increase in very rapidly.
    Also keep in mind, that for your baby to gain that much, it is possible baby is getting quite a lot via supplements. This would decrease babies overall appetite and cause baby to nurse less effectively at the breast.
    I understand how tempting exclusive pumping can look at this point. You want your baby to gain well and that is how it is apparently happening. But I would strongly suggest trying to avoid that. Yes supplement as needed. Pump as needed. But try not to stop nursing entirely.

    If tongue-tie is part of the issue, then I would suggest seeking a second opinion and seeing someone who will at least consider the idea of treating baby. This is a controversial issue because for many decades when babies were usually bottle-fed, the early treatment of tongue-tie fell out of practice. Either children were never treated, or they were only treated when they began to have serious speech or eating difficulties at a later age. The older the child, the more invasive the procedure is. The reason so many pediatricians do not treat tongue-tied in infants is because They are not taught about it's very detrimental effect on breast-feeding in medical school. But this is not surprising as they are not taught about breast-feeding in medical school. No not one course is required for even pediatricians to learn about breast-feeding in medical school. Any pediatrician who values breast-feeding and has become aware of the current thinking on this issue, will understand that the relatively minor procedure to fix tongue-tie in a newborn is well worth doing if there is even the remotest chance it will help the baby breast-feed more effectively. Unfortunately it is possible your pediatrician is not aware that it can be treated in newborns during a office visit without anesthesia. For more information about tongue-tie, I suggest the book the womanly Art of breast-feeding eighth edition. You can also visit the website of the pediatric dentist Lawrence Kotlow. Your lactation consultant should also have more information for you.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,306

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    By the way when ice just that you bring baby to the breast is much as possible, I mean with or without the shield. If baby needs the shield use it. If not don't.

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    I've seen a lot of orphaned threads where no one comes back to say how things are going. I guess I'm lucky that we had a happy ending, so I'd like to share in case another new mom stumbles across this board.

    I did end up going to the LC clinic, but they had me make an appointment since they said his problems seemed too big for the casual clinic. It was $75 with a follow-up included; my husband gave the thumbs up so we went the next day. His milk transfer was still bad (0.5oz in about 40 minutes, taking both sides). I brought up the tongue tie thing again, and the LC said I should go to a pediatric dentist that specializes in that. She compared him trying to breastfeed with a tongue tie to someone running a marathon with their legs tied together. She also gave me a website to look at. And she told me the best thing, which was to give myself the weekend, to skip one feeding/pumping session and get a full 6 hours of sleep. And to have a glass of wine.

    While perusing the website, I noticed a reference to a callous on the upper lip that indicates a lip tie. Although someone had mentioned it on this board, I hadn't given it much thought (you'd think an LC would have told me). But my baby had a callous, his upper lip never flared out, and I resolved to ask the dentist about it. They confirmed he had a pretty severe lip tie, so we got it cut with a dry laser.

    To be honest, I'm not sure if it was the surgery or just the cost of it (insurance ended up reimbursing us for half) renewed my resolve to try again. But two weeks later, we went back to the LC and he took in 5oz from one side!

    That wasn't the end, of course. I had, in my new-mom paranoia, pumped myself into an extreme oversupply. Caleb (have I really never written his name on this board?) had a nasty habit of clamping down. Sometimes the thought of BFing made me want to cry... and sometimes we just gave him a bottle because I didn't think I could take the pain. But it slowly got better until one day I realized that my nipples didn't hurt! I was finally able to leave the house without worrying about timing my return to pump. If C started crying when I was out, I could just find a private place to feed him.

    Now I'm back at work, pumping again, and we're having the opposite problem - C doesn't like the bottle!

    I look back now and the 6 weeks seems so short. In the middle of it, it seemed like 6 weeks was so long. It's funny, because the thing that kept me going was that I knew I could throw in the towel whenever I wanted. Every day - every 3 hours - I made the choice to breastfeed.

    There really is nothing like it, those moments of closeness when I am the one my baby wants. I never take it for granted, even when I'm waking up every 4 hours at night. I just breathe in his smell and smile and enjoy those few minutes where it's just him and me. Now I understand why you ladies pushed me and didn't let me give up! Thank you!

  7. #27
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    20,852

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Thank YOU! Both for sharing your success and for making it through a very challenging beginning. We may have pushed you, but you did all the hard work. Awesome!!!!
    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. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    619

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Way to go, mama! And thanks for coming back to share your success...you never know who might get the push they need to keep going just from reading your story!

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,306

    Default Re: Feeling desperate

    Wow. I cannot get over the difference in the milk intake for the before and after nursing weight checks pre and post surgery. And some people still say tongue (or lip) ties do not affect nursing success. What a story. I am so happy things have turned out so well due to your incredible diligence.

    She compared him trying to breastfeed with a tongue tie to someone running a marathon with their legs tied together. She also gave me a website to look at. And she told me the best thing, which was to give myself the weekend, to skip one feeding/pumping session and get a full 6 hours of sleep. And to have a glass of wine.
    I love this. also, What website was it?

    But my baby had a callous, his upper lip never flared out, and I resolved to ask the dentist about it. They confirmed he had a pretty severe lip tie, so we got it cut with a dry laser.
    Was baby treated for lip and tongue tie?

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