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?
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