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Thread: Breastfeeding help

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Question Breastfeeding help

    Hello all,

    I am a new mom and have a few questions about breastfeeding.

    1. I have trouble drinking plain water but love decaffeinated tea. I was told not to drink tea while breastfeeding but it's the best way I know how to get my water intake. Is drinking tea bad for milk supply?

    2. My little one doesn't open her mouth all that big anymore to take my nipple, especially on my right side. When I do happen to get a big mouth and a good latch as soon as I remove my hand from behind her head she pulls her head back and then sucks my nipple and some areola, (sp?), into her mouth. After so many times of that my nipple starts to get sore but not too bad. Is her way ok or should I be doing something different? I have tried everything to get her to open wide. I have put my finger on her bottom lip to get her to open but as soon as I remove my finger she closes her mouth, I have tried sandwiching my nipple into her mouth, I have tried grazing my nipple over and around her mouth and nothing gets her to open big like she did at the hospital. Any suggestions?

    3. When I cam home from the hospital, that first week my nipples were so sore due to bad latches that I wasn't able to breastfeed that much and used some supplementation formula and pumped as well as breastfeeding when I could. could that of messed with my milk supply? I don't think I make enough.

    4. I pump my let down because it is so strong that my baby girl chokes on it. So that process takes about 5-10 min. If I pump any longer, when my pump goes into the slower suction, nothing comes out. So I always end up pumping the first 5-10 min of milk out. I don't give her bottles often, only when I absolutely need to, like if we are out at a restaurant or someone is sitting with her while I am running errands. Is there enough nutrients in that milk to make bottles with for my baby when a bottle is required?

    5. I don't drink much but I have plans to go out this Friday and in 4 months for my birthday and was wondering how to do so with me breastfeeding. I drink mixed drinks and white wine. Like I said I don't drink much, doesn't take much for me and it really wont since it has been almost a year since I drank last. So does anyone know the right way to breastfeed/pump if you go out for a night that includes drinking?

    I could really use the help so I appreciate any and all I get. Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    540

    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    If it's the typical white/black/green tea, go ahead. The only issue would be done of the blends have herbs that can affect supply like peppermint or sometimes herbs that haven't been researched enough to say whether they're bfing compatible.
    If her latch is causing you pain, there's room for improvement. Do you have an IBCLC or LLL leader in your area that can give in person help? What position (s) are you nursing in now? A laidback/reclined position may help in the meantime.
    How old is lo exactly? What is her weight gain history so far and her diaper output?
    Gotta run. Ds needs me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    20,637

    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    Welcome to the forum!

    Drinking tea is okay, but try not to overdo it. Unless you're only drinking herbal tea (e.g. Chamomile, lemon), even "decaf" tea is going to contain some caffeine. Caffeine can be stimulating to your baby and acts as a diuretic, which can lead to you being less hydrated than you should be, which can be bad for supply. Mint and sage are often made into tea, and large quantities of those herbs should also be avoided as they are said to be bad for supply.

    Latch issues are common with newborns. If the latch is painful but you can live with it and the baby is gaining weight well, then you can probably just wait it out. As your baby grows, she will be able to latch on more easily. But if the latch is so painful that you're reluctant to nurse and/or the baby isn't gaining weight well, you should see a lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, for hands-on help. I'd like to see you see the LC even if you feel like your baby's latch is now tolerable. The fact that it hurt bad enough that you didn't nurse her exclusively during her first week suggests that you'd benefit from professional help with positioning and latching, and that your baby should be checked carefully for lip and tongue ties. Have you tried nursing in reclined positions? They are often very good for babies who have trouble staying properly latched and for babies who struggle with fast flow.

    If your baby is struggling with fast flow, you probably have more than enough milk. The root cause of most fast flow issues is oversupply. This is kind of fortunate because supplementing with formula and not nursing enough is the most common way for a mom to end up with low supply. Milk supply = demand, so any time a mom skips a nursing or pumping session because she feeds her baby a bottle of formula, she's lowering the demand her body is experiencing and is risking having a reduction in supply.

    Don't worry about the consistency of the milk you're putting in the bottles. You might have heard that the so-called "foremilk" is like skim milk and doesn't have what your baby needs. This isn't true. All milk contains everything a baby needs to grow and develop, and what matters when it comes to a baby's intake is quantity of milk (i.e. number of oz) not quality of milk (i.e. foremilk vs. hindmilk). My biggest concern with pumping is that you're not subbing it for nursing on more than an occasional basis. The first 4-6 weeks, a baby should be exclusively nursing unless there is some medical reason for the baby to be fed another way.

    The general rule with alcohol is that your milk is as drunk as you are. Alcohol levels peak 30-60 minutes after consumption if the mom is just drinking, 60-90 minutes after consumption if alcohol was taken with food. So as long as you keep your drinking light, you should be fine, and you won't need to pump if you nurse the baby right before you have a drink, and then don't nurse again for a couple of hours.

    Some questions for you:
    - How old is your baby?
    - What makes you think your supply isn't enough?
    - When you pump, how much milk are you getting?
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    I drink regular decaff tea. I have never tried herbal tea. I will buy some and try it. If I do not like it do you have any other suggestions as to how to get my water intake besides drinking water? So if I get more hydrated my supply will get better?

    I went to see the LC at the hospital when I was having latch issues. I was still pumping and trying to breastfeed her when I was having sore nipples. The LC helped a lot but now her right boob latch isn't as great as it used to be. I can handle the discomfort I would just like for her to latch properly. If I am in the nursing chair I put her across my body but if I am in bed I either do the side lying or lay her on my chest. Sometimes she plays on the nipple too much as well which causes discomfort. My pediatrician says that she is gaining well. She was 8 lbs and 15.5 oz when born and by her last visit she was 10 lbs and 2 oz. She has another app Monday.

    The fast flow only lasts about 5-10 min when pumped. So after that is done I can only hope she gets enough milk. She eats like a pig and goes through growth spurts like crazy where all she wants to do is eat and sleep. She is currently going through one now and is almost constantly nursing. If she isn't nursing she is sleeping and awake for only about 30 min in between feedings.

    When I pump out the let down I nurse her right after. I only pump out the letdown so my little one wont choke on it and so I can get some stored milk for her.

    So with the drinking should i pump and dump so to keep my supply up or is that not necessary as long as I drink lightly? What about if I plan to drink heavily, should I pump and dump to keep my supply in demand?

    My baby is going to be 2 months old tomorrow.
    My husband makes me think I am not making enough milk. Plus how much she feeds. But that one was before we learned about growth spurts.
    When I pump I get between 2 and 2.5 oz from my left breast and around 1 oz from my right breast. So to get a good supply of stored milk I have to pump my let down at least 3 times a day.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    You can drink pretty much whatever you want with the exception of large amounts of alcohol and caffeine. But don't feel like you need to do more than drink to thirst. Staying properly hydrated is good for nursing, and helps you maintain a good supply. Getting over-hydrated does nothing but make you pee all the time.

    If latching is a problem, go see the LC and ask for some more help with positioning. Is there any position that is more comfortable for you than the others? I found that side-lying was the most comfortable with my first baby, so I used that all the time until she grew enough to make other positions usable.

    If you can pump 3-3.5 oz before nursing, there's no reason to worry about supply. However, I Think you might want to switch to pumping just 1x per day, perhaps right after the baby's first morning feeding. That would probably yield plenty of milk for your frozen stash, especially because you must be socking away a large quantity every day. Maybe 9-10 oz? That's a lot of milk, somwhere between 25-50% of a baby's typical daily intake. Don't worry about the choking/gagging/spluttering. It's a normal reaction to a fast milk flow, and if you stop using the pump to perpetuate your oversupply, my guess is that the problem will go away pretty quickly. Also, if you are willing to let your baby manage your milk supply by just nursing and not nursing AND pumping, her latch might improve. Some of the latch problems you're having may be your baby's way of dealing with a fast flow of milk, which most likely stems from you having too much milk.

    If you're going to drink lightly, say just 1-2 light drinks (say a glass of wine or two), I see no reason to pump. Just monitor your intake, try not to get too tipsy, and nurse when you get home. But if you're going to drink heavily, you do want to pump so that supply and demand stay equivalent.

    Why does your husband think you aren't making enough milk? Because of the frequent feeding? It is entirely normal for young babies to nurse all. the. time. 12 or more sessions per day is not uncommon, and it doesn't mean that mom's supply is inadequate. It's just that new babies are designed to be frequent nursers- and that means both day AND night.
    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!"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    I wouldn't worry about your supply if baby is gaining well and having plenty of wet and soiled diapers.

    Water is best but decaf tea, juice, or decaf soda are ok if you really can't stand water. 7 up would be a good choice because it is all natural. Have you tried coconut water? It is expensive but good. What about just putting a little lemon in your water?

    I would make getting her latch right my #1 priority if I were you. If she is getting a lot of bottles she might be getting nipple confused, I would try to stay away from bottles for now. Can you bring her with you when you run errands? Nurse instead of bottle feed at the restaurant? If you need tips on nursing in public let us know. I like the two-shirt method - pull the t-shirt up and the tank top down, baby's head covers everything else and most people won't even know you are nursing.

    I I wonder if you're worsening your over active letdown by pumping. Have you tried just hand expressing a little instead? Nursing in a reclined position so gravity slows it down? Some coughing during letdown is normal and most babies learn to deal with the heavy letdown with time. Pumping that often would drive me crazy.

    Only you can decide how to handle alcohol and nursing, but I can tell you what I am planning to do. Babies are born with pretty immature livers, so I am waiting until she is 3 months. I will drink right after she is done nursing so it has time to get out of my system, but if I still feel tipsy when she gets hungry again I will pump and dump and give a bottle.

    To keep your supply up you should pump any time baby gets a bottle. That is the other reason I would try to learn to nurse in public, otherwise if you are at a restaurant and baby gets a bottle but you don't pump you are basically telling your boobs that she doesn't need milk, so they can make less.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    You can try fruit infused water or water kefir (you can find the starter on Amazon). I drink sparkling water. Something about the carbonation makes it way more appealing than plain water. I agree with mommal. There's no evidence drinking extra water will do anything for your supply. The frequent feedings and sleep/awake pattern sounds totally normal. It's likely you'll be back in a month or two worried your distracted baby isn't nursing enough Ds certainly had me baffled when he suddenly switched things up.

    Edit: just saw the above post. Coconut water is a great idea. I'd stay from away from any soda though. ' Natural ' is a marketing ploy. Natural flavors are so chemically processed there's nothing remotely natural left.
    Last edited by @llli*zaynethepain; February 27th, 2014 at 05:23 PM.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    When I pump before nursing I can fill a nuk breastmilk bag within a day and a half which holds about 7 oz but when dumped into a bottle is about half that. So I don't really get that much. I will prob have a glass of wine with dinner and then a couple of malibu rum with 7up cocktails at the bar. I am taking it easy so I can hopefully nurse her when I get home.
    If I were to drink heavily and pump would I need to dump that which I just pumped?

  9. #9
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    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    How long do we continue to feed on demand? My lo is 7 weeks

  10. #10
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: Breastfeeding help

    @zaynethepayne I wish I were the kind of person who thinks like that about everything I eat/drink. I had Culver's for lunch yesterday. And I am not ashamed

    @lanie if you feel tipsy yes, I would dump that milk. The alcohol isn't going to go away in the fridge or freezer.

    @mjgirl I feel your pain. R is almost 7 weeks too and growth-spurting big time. Spent all day yesterday in a nice little diaper-nurse-snuggle-repeat pattern, barely had time to get myself to the bathroom. I plan to keep feeding on demand indefinitely. Around 6 months we will start solids and presumably she will nurse a little less often. At 12 months I will probably try night-weaning if she hasn't done so on her own already.

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