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Thread: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    59

    Default Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    Hi everyone - this is my first post here and I am in need of some encouragement. I feel like I have had nearly everything go wrong with breastfeeding. Couldn't latch, shallow latch, lost too much weight, posterior tongue tie, gained slowly, reflux, clogged ducts, excess lipase... I thought we had finally made it after the 2-month mark.

    Then I had to go back to work. She got her first cold and went back to day care at around the same time - I've been struggling to pump enough. She's become very very fussy when I try to nurse her most of the time, and sometimes outright refuses to nurse. At first I thought this was because of a cold/congestion, but it's still going on. She nurses ok when she's sleeping or almost asleep, but her last feed before day care and her first feed after day care is always fitful, flailing, and anxious. It usually ends with me trying hard to get her to nurse and her screaming. I had imagined a nice peaceful happy reunion nursing session after a long day away from her and it's just the opposite - totally unpleasant and difficult. I'm concerned she's developing a preference for the bottle and am beginning to get depressed.

    Does anyone have any words of encouragement or ideas for me? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,575

    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    Hi first off I want to congratulate you on making it this far! Many moms quit breast-feeding when they have the kind of problems you have had. You haven't you've kept going which is really great. The benefits to you and your daughter will continue for both of your lifetimes.
    I have a few suggestions, these are kind of general but maybe something will apply to your situation. First off I would suggest that you give yourself and your baby a break. What you are both doing is kind of hard. Of course it is now the norm for mothers to be working outside the home and away from baby even when baby is very young. That does not mean that it's easy. It's not. it's hard, it's hard on both mother and baby. Biologically, separations between mother and babies do not typically feel good there's a reason for that on a biological level. It will probably get better over time, it usually does. But I want you to understand that it is perfectly normal to feel sad or stressed when you're separated from your baby every day. And it's pretty normal for baby to react the baby the way baby does when you're back together. It's actually pretty normal for baby to not be blissful when they first see mom after a separation. This is not because baby is not happy to see you it is because baby is so relieved to see you if that makes sense. Imagine hey mother whose teenage daughter was out all night and she didn't know where she was. And then the daughter comes home. Of course The mom would be tremendously relieved and happy to see her beloved daughter. But she probably wouldn't be acting blissfully! It will take time for baby to understand that you, her everything, will return to her.

    My suggestions for breast-feeding are these. First off make sure that your baby is being fed in a breast-feeding supportive way. During your workday. This means small feedings given when baby cues. It also means using a technique called paced bottlefeeding. For a good explanation of all this, go to the tearsheet toolkit on this website and open the PDF called bottlefeeding the breast-fed baby.
    Make sure you are pumping as often as you can at work, and using the very best pump you can afford, and make sure it is in excellent working condition. If you would like more tips on pumping maybe you could tell us how you were pumping at work when where etc. there is also a dedicated working and pumping forum as well.
    The typical daily intake for a baby is around 30 ounces per day. Some babies more some babies less, and it won't be exactly the same every day.
    So the rule of thumb is that, and separated from mom, baby should be fed somewhere between 1 to 1 and a 1/2 ounces per hour of separation. This is assuming the baby is nursing overnight as well, which is sounds like your baby is. If baby is being fed much more than that by babies caregiver, it is possible baby is being overfed during the day. That would cause baby to be less interested in nursing.
    If nursing the second to see your baby is too stressful, perhaps that won't be the best strategy for you right at this time. Maybe instead hold baby, take baby home, eat something yourself, whatever, before trying to nurse.

    Keep nursing overnight. I really think this is very very vital when mom is separated from baby during the day.
    Nurse as much as you can on weekends or your days off. Takes little mini nursing vacations where you try to clear your schedule as much as possible so you can just relax and snuggle baby and nurse as much as you both like.
    If baby continues to refuse to nurse, a good article is on www.Kellymom.com it is called help my baby won't nurse.
    I have never met a mother who regretted the efforts she put into breast-feeding her baby. I hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    Thanks so much. That does make me feel better.

    I dream fed her last night at about 11:30, then fed her when she woke up at 2:45 and 6:00. At 6:00 she struggled a little but was still swaddled and settled down quickly. Then at 8:00 before daycare she cried and struggled a lot but after about 5 minutes of that settled down and nursed for another 10. I just hope that isn't going to be every day. I have also ordered different bottles with more natural nipples (I have been just using what came with my Medela pump, which said it was slow flow but people are telling me it's still too fast). They are called comotomo - anyone use those?

    I have a Medela PISA as well as a Medela Swing (I use the Swing mainly for pumping at home after feedings where I still feel full in one or both boobs). I feel like the PISA drains me very well - and I think I have a decent storage capacity because I have gotten up to 8 oz (from both boobs total) during a morning pump - but in the afternoon it's more like 2. So far I have just barely matched her most days, or just a slight shortfall. But I'm nervous about the longer term. I will check out the pumping forums and maybe post there too.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
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    2,214

    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    I just want to second what LLLMeg says that going back to work when you have a young baby is HARD (i've done it three times) and it takes time to get into the swing of things. But my experience was that things did get a lot better with time. So hang in there. And it SO worth maintaining that breastfeeding relationship. Right now you may find that nursing baby right after work is stressful and difficult. But babies change all the time. I can tell you that the first thing my two-year-old wants to do when I get home is nurse! She can barely wait for me to take off my jacket. I agree with Meg though, right now your baby is adjusting to a new situation, it takes time.

    Also, it is completely normal to get less pump output later in the day than early in the day. If you are getting 8 oz in the morning and 2 oz in afternoon that's already 10 oz, and is there another pumping session in there too? How many hours is your separation from baby? How long are you pumping for? Sometimes pumping longer can get you a second letdown and more milk - maybe something to consider for the afternoon pumping session, at least. Breast compressions while pumping can also help squeeze out another ounce.

    How big are the bottles baby is getting at daycare? Baby's meals at the breast are 2 or 3 or perhaps 4 oz, so bottles should be similar. A lot of moms will do a 2.5 or 3 oz bottle and give daycare 1 oz frozen "toppers" to be used as needed. And this doesn't change as baby gets older - baby does not need bigger and bigger bottles. Definitely want to prevent overfeeding because not only is it hard to pump enough, but it decreases baby's motivation to nurse when you are together, further decreasing supply.

    I definitely agree that nighttime nursing is really important for working moms, so that's great that you are nursing baby at night.

    I haven't used the nipples you mention, but you can compare flows by holding them upside down and running water through them.

    Here are some links to the articles that Meg mentioned (and some additional ones):
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/f...ottle-feeding/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/concerns/child/back-to-breast/
    http://kellymom.com/bf/pumpingmoms/e...reastfed-baby/
    http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...astfedbaby.pdf

    Hang in there mama, you're doing great.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,575

    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    Yes I strongly suggest share with your caregiver the information in the bottlefeeding the breast-fed baby Articles. It is the way baby & bottle are positioned for feeding that allows baby to control the feeding. Typical bottle positioning makes it very hard for baby to have any control over how much milk comes into babies mouth at a time. Paced bottlefeeding tech technique allows baby much more control. This is very important and really would be the best way to give a bottle to any baby even exclusively formula fed. Yes, use a slow flow nipple but if bottlefeeding technique is correct then what type of nipple becomes much less important.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
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    rockford,il
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    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    I just wanted to come in and say this phase of fussy daytime nursing may be entirely unrelated to your return to work. I stay at home but my son did the same thing at that age. He nursed well at night and when just waking up but refused most/all daytime feedings. I'd have to use a pacifier and rock him to sleep before switching the pacifier out for my boob. It was a couple weeks before he went back to nursing normally. So don't feel any guilt there.
    The pp's had great advice and the kellymom article is great. Just keep offering in a relaxed manner. Staying open access and skin to skin if possible might help on your nights and days off.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    59

    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    Thanks so much everyone. Yes, it might have just been a coincidence that this happened when I went back to work - it does seem like this might be common at this age/associated with a wonder week! Over the weekend she seemed much better, though during daytime feedings the first part of the feed she would just pop off, turn her head up to me, either fuss or just talk at me, and then turn right back and pop on. Now that I am less stressed about it being permanent, it seems kind of cute and funny to me. Thank you again so much for everyone's support - and I am going to talk to our daycare about bottlefeeding technique.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    240

    Default Re: Need encouragement - 3.5 months struggling

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*xiaoshira View Post
    Now that I am less stressed about it being permanent, it seems kind of cute and funny to me.
    I am a firm believer that mom's stress level is directly correlated to baby's mood. So if you are more relaxed baby will be too. I see it almost daily with my LO. I get frustrated and suddenly I can't comfort her either with nursing or any other technique. Hand her to daddy and she settles down almost instantly. I take a 5-10 minute breather, then she will nurse. It is amazing how sensitive babies are,

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