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Thread: New Here! Help! Feeling So Lost!

  1. #1

    Default New Here! Help! Feeling So Lost!

    My baby is 11 days old, and I am a first time Mom. I want to breast feed so badly. I came into this prepared, or so I thought. I took classes, read books, and made friends with other breast feeding Mammas. I asked for skin to skin immediately. I used the lactation consultants everyday in the hospital...a 5 day stay. I sadly ended up with severe pregnancy induced hypertension, and was on Mag Sulfate that made baby and I both sluggish. Then we struggled with really high bilirubin, which also made baby lethargic. I was having to pump, feed, and supplement feed with my own milk like crazy. Being a first timer at everything I trusted all advice and was spoon, cup, and oral syringe feeding. The lactation consultants thought all was going well, but that the baby was just sleepy during feeds due to the Mag and Bili. The pediatrician wanted me to up my supplementing due to Bili levels, and I am now using a Calma Medela bottle since baby had to has to really work at it, after he only gets it after he has been at the breast first. He has been supplementing between 1 to 2.5 ounces after each feed with my pumped milk. Last night he fussed at my breast for almost 4 hours pretty much straight, inconsolable. I was trying to get rid of the supplementing now that Bili levels are coming down. I now think that with all the supplementing he was never getting much from me, and that is why he is so sleepy at the breast. I can go into the clinic Monday.. but what do I do? Any help appreciated! Feeling hopeless!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Re: New Here! Help! Feeling So Lost!

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    First, I think you should focus on what is going right! Your baby's bili levels are coming down. You're feeding baby exclusively on breastmilk. Your baby is latching and nursing. Those are all terrific things.

    I'm glad that you're planning to go in to the clinic on Monday. Do they have an independent lactation consultant, preferably an IBCLC, there? I think you will really benefit from some hands-on help, and when you're struggling with a newborn, it pays to have the best. If you can get in to see someone on Sunday, go for it. If not, Monday will do. Until then, here are some things you can do that may keep baby a little less fussy at the breast:
    - Try different positions.
    - Do breast compressions while you're nursing, both to keep baby awake and to increase his milk intake.
    - Keep the supplements small. At 11 days old, 2 oz can be an entire feeding. So I would want the bottles to be about 1 oz. 2.5 oz is probably way over the baby's needs. If the baby nurses 12 times a day, that would end up being 12 oz of supplement which strikes me as ample for a baby this age.
    - Try to finish feedings at the breast- that is, nurse, supplement, and then nurse again so that baby associates the feeling of being satiated and happy with being at the breast rather than on the bottle.

    When you go in to see the LC, I would suggest having the following happen:
    - Bring baby hungry so that LC can observe baby latching and feeding.
    - Do a weigh-feed-weigh measurement on the baby so that you know how much he can take in while nursing.
    - If the weigh-feed-weigh suggests that his intake is low, consider renting a scale for home use so that you can do your own weighed feeds. Knowing exactly how much your baby took in while nursing helps you know when you need to supplement and when you don't, and getting lots of data will present a much more complete picture of the baby's nursing ability than a one-time snapshot at the LC's office.
    - Bring your pump and have the LC check your shields and watch you pump, as she may be able to find things about pumping that could be improved.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2009

    Default Re: New Here! Help! Feeling So Lost!

    I agree with mommal. You are doing great and it is early days. You have lots of time to turn this around.

    I so understand wanting to make sure baby gets enough, of course that is important. but over supplementation is a real problem that will keep a baby from even wanting to nurse.

    Also, as much as possible, bring baby to the breast when baby is calm, before baby gets frantic. IN fact, it would be great if you could be holding baby most of the time, skin to skin if that is comfortable for you, or lightly dressed with easy access if it is not. This way, baby can find the breast quickly, even while asleep or just waking. If baby is frantic, try a little supplement in the bottle to get baby calm, then offer the breast. Dribbling a little expressed milk on your nipple, or hand expressing until a little milk comes out, will show baby "this is the place."

    If supplementation continues to be needed, have the LC show you how to do paced bottle feeding.

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