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Thread: Desperate for help

  1. #1

    Default Desperate for help

    In panic mode and need advice. Trying to feed our daughter, 3 weeks 2 days old. (Third child). We ebf our first son for a month, long story short he had stomach surgery and was life delighted but in the process they said it was a milk allergy and started him on Nutramigen and told me to stop nursing. In the process of stress and that we lost my supply and had to formula feed. Our second daughter was a preemie and was never able to latch on. I pumped for 7 months with her but she still was supplemented with preemie formula. Now our third daughter, she aspirated meconium and coded. The NICU gave her formula the first night and second night without us knowing. She fb at 8 hours post birth and did great. We continued to do great except for struggles dropping that night supplement. At 3 weeks, we'd, she started crying and fussing while nursing. Arching herself and being frantic. My mom suggested supplementing after nursing. She took an ounce to two. Yesterday, worrying I'm losing my supply, she would nurse then take an ounce then I would pump. I read the books, drank more, ate oatmeal. Am I losing my supply?? I want her ebf and feel horrible that we supplement. What can I do? And what happened to my normally content nurser? And why don't I feel my let down every two hours like I did? Any help would be appreciated.
    Last edited by @llli*aimeejoy51; April 4th, 2014 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Hi, sorry you are having this struggle. Try not to panic!

    Lots of things can cause a baby to fuss while nursing. Some are things that can be fixed, so even if this is an issue of low production, that can be addressed in many ways. But often, such behavior is just a baby being a baby. Do all bottle fed babies take bottles without a single fuss? No. But no one tells a mother who is formula feeding her child to top a fussy baby off with the breast!

    So, some questions- Are you only supplementing at this point due to this fussing? (Supplements are needed if a baby is not gaining normally via exclusive nursing. otherwise, they are not needed. And unnecessary supplementing is very harmful to breastfeeding over time.)
    is weight gain normal? how about poop output?
    How many times each 24 hour day was/is baby nursing?
    Have you always pumped about as often as baby was supplemented? Since those first couple days, Has baby been supplemented with your milk, formula, or a combo?
    do you ever feel 'full' before nursing, and less so after?
    does nursing hurt at all?
    Are you using a nipple shield?
    Are you taking anything that may harm milk production, such as hormone based birth control?
    Does baby ever seem to be having difficulty handling the milk flow (like it is too fast)
    Does it seem baby is fussing due to becoming frustrated that the milk flow is slow?

    The following are things that mean very little if anything and NOT a cause for worry in most cases:
    As long as baby is gaining normally, fussing while nursing
    That baby takes a bottle after nursing
    how much baby takes in the bottle. A newborn cannot help but take a bottle that is placed in its mouth. Baby's have an incredibly strong urge to suckle, basically constantly. This is why it is normal for a newborn to nurse 10-15 times a day, to nurse for long periods, to nurse to sleep, etc. A normal healthy newborn usually wants to nurse a great deal of the time. If they are given a bottle, they will suck on it, hungry or not.
    how often or strongly you feel letdown. Some mothers never feel letdown at all, or only sporadically.
    How much you 'get' when you pump.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; April 4th, 2014 at 08:57 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Ok, They had us supplement 1. because the NICU had started it 2. she was jaundiced. We had a hard time stopping the night supplement they added and her pedi suggested "topping her off" after nursing, which I am horribly regretting. She has gotten back to birth weight and her poops are very normal, pretty much every feed. She nurses about every 2-3 hours, but cluster feeds in the evening. I have never felt "full", except occasionally in the mornings. I have been pumping after her nursing in attempts to boost my supply. We do not use a nipple shield, and nursing doesn't hurt, she latches wonderfully. Currently am on no medications including birth control. She does seem to fuss after the let down has ended.

    My goal is just to stop these supplementing and EBF. I'm wondering is she fussy just related to a growth spurt? Is it a phase that will pass? And is my stressing complicating the problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: Desperate for help

    Yes, it can be quite difficult to wean off supplements. This is why many have urged that, when it is needed, formula be prescribed by the pediatrician, in very specific amounts for a specific duration, with follow ups given so the formula can stop at the appropriate time. because it is so hard for parents to find the confidence to stop supplementing.

    I am still unclear about why supplements are being given now, (it sounded like they had been stopped entirely but started again due to the fussiness?) and in what amount they are-how much each day and how often. How to wean off supplements depends on how and why they are being given currently.

    Bottle use itself could cause a baby to be fussy with a slower milk flow. This is sometimes called 'flow confusion.' So that will go away with time once bottles are eliminated. It is also possible, baby is simply done eating for the moment and is simply asking to be comforted another way. It is fine to do this, and then offer to nurse again, comfort again, nurse again, etc, until baby settles. This is probably what you are doing during the evenings when baby cluster nurses. This can be done any time.

    As long as baby is nursing at a minimum 10 times a 24 hour day, and baby is gaining normally, that is probably enough. However, nursing more often is not going to hurt anything and many babies do wish to nurse more often. If you are concerned about baby getting enough milk overall, there is no reason to not offer to nurse more often instead of pumping or supplementing. If baby is not interested in nursing more often, chances are, baby does not need anymore. If baby does want to nurse more often, then that would be helping your milk production and, of course, mean baby is getting more milk. Without you having to go to the trouble of pumping and bottles. Basically, there is no downside to nursing baby as often as possible. Don't insist, just offer.

    I have never felt "full", except occasionally in the mornings
    . this can be normal if milk is being removed from the breast frequently.

    I'm wondering is she fussy just related to a growth spurt? Is it a phase that will pass?
    Possibly. I know lots of people talk about a 'three week' spurt and a '6 week' spurt. But a much more common thing that occurs with many babies is that at some point, usually 'around' the 2 week point, they start to 'wake up' and want to nurse much more often than they did before. This is the point a baby can seem to become particularly 'demanding' for food, comfort, something. This can be particularly pronounced if a mom had meds at birth or baby had jaundice or some other issues after birth that would make baby even more sleepy than normal in the early days.

    Personally, I look at it this way. The entire newborn period is one long growth spurt. Baby is growing as fast or very nearly as fast as the last few weeks in the womb, when baby was being fed & comforted quite literally every moment of every day. So of course, a baby is going to be very needy for this period of both frequent meals and lots of comforting. Yes, there may be days baby wants to nurse more or less, of course. But really, the NORM for the first couple of months is a baby who basically wants to nurse most of the time. Also, if we are talking periods each day of out and out crying, screaming etc, that can be something that is fairly typical for this age and is lumped under the term 'colic.' Again, fussiness at the breast, as long as baby does nurse with normal frequency and is gaining normally is not really a problem.

    And is my stressing complicating the problem
    No. At least, unlikely. Of course, stressing does not help either. But if the stress of being a concerned mom and caring for a newborn caused a real issue with milk production, there would not be many breastfed babies and we never would have survived as a species.

    Sometimes stress causes letdown issues, so if you think baby would be happier with a faster milk flow, you can try relaxation techniques to help with that. breast compressions can also help, switching sides too.

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