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Thread: need help, support, answers!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default need help, support, answers!

    Hi - my baby was born over a month early but fortunately we were able to have a home birth and she never had to go to the hospital. She's over 3 weeks old now and although she's been BF from the beginning, I'm overwhelmed by how difficult it is and how hard it is for me to figure out what to do! My left breast isn't producing milk at all and I've tried everything: gone to a lactation consultant, used a breast pump, seen a doctor, had an ultrasound, used the Lact-Aid device with breast milk, had a massage and applied hot, wet compresses. . . . One night after about 2 weeks, I felt that she wasn't getting enough. She'd been up nursing for over an hour (on the right breast) and acted frustrated - pulling away from the breast and crying but continuing to try to suckle. She was getting hysterical so I made my husband go out and buy formula. Since then, we've given her a bottle about 8 - 10 times, when I felt that she was starving and wasn't getting enough from me. Now, after having read the 'myths' on the LLL website, I think that maybe I shouldn't have ever given her a bottle or formula. Also, I have no idea how to tell if she's getting enough. I used to think if she was frustrated and fussy and trying to nurse but pulling away - that all these things meant that she wasn't getting enough from me. But now I don't know what to think. Is this normal? I've almost gone crazy tonight because I decided not to give her formula or a bottle, and to just let her BF as long as she wanted. . . but she's been crying and nursing for over 4 hours straight!!!!!!!!! I can't put her down. I know if I give her a few ounces of formula she'll eat it and calm down and go to sleep - Basically, I am totally confused and don't know what to do.
    I'd appreciate any advice or links to other websites that may be able to help me.
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    929

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    Hi, Welcome!

    BF is very hard work and VERY confusing in the beginning, regardless of how much you do to prepare for it. DS nursed around the clock the first 5-6 wks of his life and when he wasn't nursing he was screaming his head off. I worried that he wasn't getting enough too.

    Supplementing with formula is a sure way to reduce you supply. Your body works on the supply and demand principle so get your LO to the breast OFTEN. The best way to assure that your LO is getting enough to eat is to count the wet/poopy diapers. What goes in must come out so if she has several a day and is gaining well then she is getting enough.

    Supplementing 8-10X a day is a lot so I'm sure that your supply has dropped. The first couple of months are critical in establishing an adequate supply. Try to gradually reduce the supplementation by getting your LO to BF as often as possible and then pump after each feeding to stimulate more production (don't worry if you don't get much).

    I would also encourage you to contact your local LLL leader for some one-on-one help.

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
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    1,712

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    Supplementing 8-10X a day is a lot so I'm sure that your supply has dropped.
    Since then, we've given her a bottle about 8 - 10 times
    I think you meant you have given her a bottle about 8-10 times total, right. In which case, you should be able to drop the supplementation much faster.

    Either way I agree with Luke'sMom. Call your local LLL leader, bf as often as you can. Newborns nurse constantly. Those first two months or so, that is all you do. Try to get some rest, drink lots of water, and embrace the fact that you are her comfort as well as nourishment.

    When she is resistant to the breast, walk, sing, rock, or try a carrier or sling. Lots of babies love the close feeling to Mom they get in them.

    Sounds like you are doing a great job. I know there is another Mom who feeds from one side only and Mom's of twins do it all the time, so you can too. Supply meets demand. It's a beautiful thing.

    You will get through this. Best Wishes and feel free to ask any questions. We all came here in search for help too.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    929

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Mia'sMom View Post
    I think you meant you have given her a bottle about 8-10 times total, right. In which case, you should be able to drop the supplementation much faster.
    oops, sorry. Misread that. Yes, definitely just stop supplementing altogether now and watch the diaper output for reassurance.

    Jennifer
    Amazed and Proud mom of Luke (Lucas) - 4/5/2006; 9 lbs 12 oz , 22in
    Wife to best friend Carl - 11/4/2001

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    Mephany I experienced some of what you worte! The beginning was incredibly frustrating! I had to use a nipple shield and was not producing enough at first...fast foward 2 months and was overproducing...now things seem to be evening out (he's almost 5 months)-I'm learning my supply can be a very delicate thing. I agree with pp that the more your LO is at breast the better-I know what it's like to breastfeed for over 4 hours straight and it is VERY taxing!

    Some of the things that did help me was plenty of fluids, mothers milk tea, getting my DH to take him even if it was just for 10 minutes for me to shower. DH was great about making sure I got something to eat and drink. I also cuddled in bed with my LO and just nursed, nursed, nursed. We were able to get rid of the bottles, shield and other "things" that seemed like a "barrier" (at the time) between us and "successfull" nursing. What I can offer is support and that you can do it! Please hang in there and I repeat what pp said, if possible seek out some more one on one support. Kudos to you for posting here, there are many moms who can offer what worked for them, hopfully there will be something that will be usefull for you. Feel free to PM me. -maria

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
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    1,020

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    It sounds like a growth spurt too...I would definitly keep LO at breast as much as possible to stimulate supply. The best way to tell if LO is getting enough is by diaper output and weight gain... Click here for a good link about what to expect and diaper output.

  7. #7

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    Hi there!

    Kudos for sticking with it this far! What did your lactation consultant tell you about your non-producing side? What about your producing side?

    What is her birthweight? Her weight now?

    Many mothers find that they are able to feed a baby with just one breast. You may have to nurse more frequently, but it can usually be done.

    A couple of things that may help:

    You can tell if she's getting enough to eat by watching her wet and dirty diapers. She should be having at least 5-6 wet disposable (6-8 cloth) diapers and 2-3 dirty diapers (size of a U.S. Quarter or larger) per day. She should be going to the breast AT LEAST 8-12 times per 24 hours. An article that may help:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/enough.html

    3 weeks is also prime growth-spurt season, and many mothers find that their newborns "wake up" around this time and just act ravenous. However, it sounds like your baby has been acting very hungry since birth? If so, I'd strongly suggest you get in touch with the lactation consultant again so that she can give you some in-person help. Another article that may help you:
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/normal.html
    http://www.lalecheleague.org/FAQ/surgery.html (it didn't sound like you had surgery on your breasts, but this article has some info on nursing from just one breast.)

    HTH
    Jen
    Last edited by LLL LactoJen; November 28th, 2006 at 11:23 PM.
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    thanks, everyone, for such quick responses. I feel a little better this
    morning although we had a tough night. she has gained tons of weight -
    the last time we went to the doc she had gained 13 oz in 12 days! she
    hasn't had a poopy diaper, though, in the last two days. . . . could she
    be constipated? it is natural for her to start pooping less, right? Also,
    she's had AMAZING gas the last 3 days and we've tried using Gerber's
    gas relief drops. any thoughts on that?

    in response to lactojen:
    she was born nov 4 at 5 lbs 8 oz and
    is probably 6 lbs 8 oz now.. .
    the lactation consultant suggested massaging
    her face/gums before each feed, drinking raspberry
    leaf tea, taking primrose oil, priming my left breast
    by pumping for 2 min. before each feed, massaging
    my armpit while pumping that breast after feeding.

  9. #9

    Default Re: need help, support, answers!

    Constipation is pretty rare in a breastfed baby. But it's also defined by the texture and not the frequency of the poop. She really shouldn't be going 2 days without a BM at this age, according to the article that I linked above. I'd suggest getting her in for a few more feeding sessions to see if that solves the problem.

    As for the gas. . . well, it could be because she hasn't had a BM, could be something you ate. It's hard to say. As long as she's PASSING the gas and it isn't making her uncomfortable, it shouldn't be a problem.

    Jen
    "Mothers are designed to be available to their babies--to help them make the transition into this big, wide world. To teach them to trust, and love, and feel good about being alive."
    --Elizabeth N. Baldwin, Esq., So I Nursed Him Every 45 Minutes

    Click here to find your local LLL Group
    How to tell if your breastfed baby is getting enough milk!

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