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Thread: New Mom Problems

  1. #1

    Default New Mom Problems

    I am a new mother of a 1 month old beautiful baby boy. I could not wait to start breast feeding him but had no idea of how difficult and extremely painful the process would be. I had a lactation consultant help me in the hospital and she told me he was latched on properly and that I "just had sensitive nipples". From then on, every time I would feed my munchkin, the anxiety and tears started even before he was "latched on".

    After about 1 week of excruciating pain, I had another LC come to my home to help. Again I was told he was "doing well" and that this was all a learning process and the pain would get better. At about 2 weeks of age, I went to the baby's pediatrician and to my surprise I was told the baby lost weight and still had not regained his birth weight. I could not understand what was going on. Baby had bowel movements and wet diapers with each feeding (8-10) a day. Didn't that mean he was eating enough?

    By week three I had yet another LC come in to help me. She took her time and was really informative and told me about "cluster feedings" which I had not been doing. With each feeding, I sat watching the clock praying for 20-30 minutes to come quickly. This was more than enough time at the breast as per my pediatrician and the pain was unbearable if I had to go for a second more. With this LC the pain when feeding was different - it was a deep pulling sensation rather than feeling like glass was coming out of my nipples. I did well with her while she was there and the "cluster" feeding we worked through gave me hope.

    Middle of week three my baby still was not gaining any weight and my pediatrician was firm that we do something different because (understandably so) it was his job to make sure my baby thrives. I had to make the heart breaking decision to supplement with formula. At this time I also decided to pump as much as I could so that my baby still received my milk and so I could use formula to "top him off".

    It is now a little over week four and my baby has surpassed his birth weight and doing well. I however want to go back to breast feeding him but have such anxiety about the process. I am also worried that because I missed the "cluster feedings" during the first few weeks, my milk supply may not be enough.

    I am pumping about 8 times a day and getting approx 3 ounces each time. I am also doing everything under the sun to "increase" my milk supply - Fenugreek, oatmeal, malt drinks, staying hydrated and eating well.

    Anyone else have similar situations, words of advice and encouragement? I'd love to hear from you

  2. #2
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    Oh my you sound just like me when my baby was that young. My story sounds the same as yours with the difference being that my baby did gain weight - just not as quickly as we would have thought. Probably because I had a huge oversupply and so much got into him. What I am wondering is if your baby has been checked for a tongue-tie. That's the issue my baby had. Although he looked like he was latched on right, it KILLED to have him suck. I dreaded each nursing session and loved the pump (today it's the opposite). With a posterior tongue-tie (the kind my baby had), it's really hard to diagnose because it's far back in the mouth. It means the baby can't have full range of movement with his tongue. My nipples took ages to heal. They happened to have felt better once my milk supply regulated (at 3 months) and my breasts weren't THAT full anymore so it was somewhat easier for my baby to get a somewhat better latch. But we still took care of his tongue-tie (at 5 months) and he can eat so much better.

    The pain you describe plus the fact that he's not getting so much really leads me to think of a tongue tie as being the culprit here. Have a good IBCLC examine your baby, who may refer you to a pediatric ENT.

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    61

    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    I have a similar situation and my LO is 1 month tomorrow. Latching was so painful and 2 IBCLC has confirmed that her position is correct. Pediatrician said that she doesn't have a tongue tie either and my supply is starting to dwindle. I'm considering taking fenugreek, how did that work out for you?

  4. #4

    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    My Pediatrician said an ENT would laugh at me. Both LC told me he might have a small issue with being tongue tied but not enough that it would really cause the pain I am having & definitely not enough to be an issue with his speech. Maybe I should have him checked out any way - just the idea of the small procedure hurts me.

    As for the Fenugreek - I am still on the fence. I honestly do not see much of an increase in supply but then again I haven't really been taking it the way I should because I wanted to make sure it wouldn't upset my stomach (which it hasn't to this point). Lets see what a few more days of taking it correctly does.

    I guess I am wondering at this point is it even worth it to attempt to breast feed again? I do miss that feeling of my LO being close to me but pumping thus far has resulted in him gaining weight. I keep telling my husband I want to try again and he is very supportive but when the time comes I am so anxious and scared of it hurting that the idea stays an idea.

  5. #5
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    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    I'm in exactly the same predicament as you. But I did try latching my baby one more time recently when I had fallen asleep and hubby woke me up cause she was hungry and she got so frustrated that she suckled so hard I pulled away too fast and now I have a sore that I'm trying to heal. It is a bit frustrating since I feel like we took another step back and wasted another week. My hubby has been so supportive about it which is wonderful to know but he also reassures me that my LO is healthy and is steadily gaining weight. So if you do try, which I hope you succeed, post it so I can maybe try again.

    But please keep in mind that the stress of forcing the issue of breastfeeding can slow your milk production. It sure did with me so that's an additional stress that I don't need to take on and hope you don't encounter the same problem.
    Last edited by @llli*noodles610; July 10th, 2014 at 05:16 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    Hi I'm sorry I have to use my phone so I have to be brief. Please let me assure you that as you can see by your responses many many mothers experience pain in the early weeks and also many mothers experienced issues with slow weight gain in the early days. Both of these are signs that something is wrong with the baby's latch.
    This may be a mechanical issue such as tongue or lip tie
    it may be something else. But your excruciating pain is a very clear indication something was not right.
    As far as milk production goes, if you are pumping 8 times a day and getting 3 ounces every time that is 24 ounces per day. This would be normal milk production for a mother of a one month old. I don't know how much your baby is actually eating I don't think you mentioned it. But it is important to understand that when babies are being bottle-fed they are frequently being overfed.

    It sounds as if you have received some good breast-feeding help, but I think you need more. Your confidence has very understandably been shaken by the pain you've experienced and your babies lack of gain while exclusively nursed.
    But again these are issues that and likely be overcome. You are making enough milk or very close to enough milk just pumping! This is a good sign that you are capable of making enough milk for your baby once you're back nursing or very close to it. Even if your baby required to continue to have supplements, that does not mean you could not breast-feed as well.

    Whether it is worth it to continue to try is of course up to you. but I can assure you from a breast-feeding perspective it is entirely possible that you could go on to breast-feeding your baby.
    If a doctor told me that another doctor would laugh at me for the concern that I was having about my child, I would probably be getting a new doctor. The American Academy of pediatrics recommends that pediatricians support mothers who wish to breast-feed. Why? Because the evidence is overwhelming that breast-feeding is the best and healthiest way to feed an infant and is important for a lifetime of optimal health in all humans. Not all pediatricians are able to help with breast-feeding. However, The American Academy of pediatrics says that they should be supportive. Sometimes when there are breast-feeding issues, supplementation is required. It is important that supplementation be done in a breast-feeding supportive way and that how that can be done is explained to the mother. Suggesting supplementation when a baby is not gaining is not unsupportive. However not helping a mother figure out why she would be having pain or why the baby is not gaining well is being unsupportive of breastfeeding.
    Last edited by @llli*lllmeg; July 10th, 2014 at 06:30 AM.

  7. #7
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    May 2006
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    21,269

    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    with the excellent advice above. Also, who cares if the ENT laughs at you? If he/she does, find a new ENT. Or see a pediatric dentist- they often have a lot of experience with lip and tongue ties. My 8 year-old's dentist was the one who finally pointed out her lip tie, after her pediatrician and 2 LCs missed it. I only wish I'd had the sense to take her to the dentist when she was a newborn and I was having problems very similar to yours.

    If this were my baby, I would immediately start nursing again- it sounds like you have transitioned to exclusive pumping...? So nurse, and then top off with expressed milk or formula as needed. Did any of the LCs you saw do a weigh-feed-weigh measurement on your baby? Weighed feeds are a good wY to get a sense of how much your baby takes in over the course of a feeding. When I was having problems, I actually rented a professional scale for home use, and did several days' worth of weighed feeds. That gave me a much better idea of my baby's intake than a single measurement at the LC's office. It also allowed me to know when I needed to supplement- if my daughter took in less than 2 oz despite being at the breast for a long time, it was time to break out the bottle or the supplemental nursing system. And once she was routinely taking 2-3 oz at the breast, I knew I could phase out the supplemental feedings and just nurse.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  8. #8
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    Jan 2014
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    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*heatheralzate View Post
    My Pediatrician said an ENT would laugh at me. Both LC told me he might have a small issue with being tongue tied but not enough that it would really cause the pain I am having & definitely not enough to be an issue with his speech. Maybe I should have him checked out any way - just the idea of the small procedure hurts me.

    As for the Fenugreek - I am still on the fence. I honestly do not see much of an increase in supply but then again I haven't really been taking it the way I should because I wanted to make sure it wouldn't upset my stomach (which it hasn't to this point). Lets see what a few more days of taking it correctly does.

    I guess I am wondering at this point is it even worth it to attempt to breast feed again? I do miss that feeling of my LO being close to me but pumping thus far has resulted in him gaining weight. I keep telling my husband I want to try again and he is very supportive but when the time comes I am so anxious and scared of it hurting that the idea stays an idea.
    If they laugh at you, ignore them! Before having my son examined by the ENT, we asked our pediatrician to have a look. He said if there IS one, it's pretty minor and shouldn't be causing any distress but he did recommend that we see an ENT just to reassure us. I'm glad we went. The procedure was done in the office and took less than 5 minutes and was the equivalent (as the ENT put it) to a paper cut. He did not need any pain medication whatsoever after - played, slept and ate afterwards.

    Fenugreek doesn't work for everyone. It made me feel SUPER hungry all day plus low blood sugar. It didn't help my supply.

    Mom to Samuel J.
    born 7lb. 10 oz. and 22" tall
    on Saturday, October 19, 2013.
    My breastfeeding experiences: http://www.breastfeedinghacks.com/

  9. #9
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    http://www.drghaheri.com/blog/
    Unfortunately, just like with breastfeeding in general, many doctors are completely untrained about tongue/lip ties and their ability to affect nursing. This site had some great info and pictures and if you go to the resources section of the site, it links to Dr Kotlow's site with even more information from another expert in the field. This seems to be a situation where mothers typically have to advocate for themselves. Definitely keep trying mama!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
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    Default Re: New Mom Problems

    I agree with the possibility of a posterior tongue tie or even a lip tie. I was also told my LO had a "perfect" latch. Well, then why was she not transferring milk and my nipples were bleeding? I had been told by many professionals that my LO did not have any tongue tie, but I did some of the tests here http://www.cwgenna.com/ttidentify.html and my LO's tongue looked just like the pictures. And she had an obvious upper lip tie that no one noticed or checked for until I pointed it out. I took her to a pediatric dentist that was recommended by my LC. He was very nice and straight-forward about it, basically he said that neither tie would affect her later in life, but it MIGHT help breastfeeding now. He said she could out grow it and breastfeed fine in a few weeks, or she might never breastfeed right. He couldn't say. Or she could get the procedure done and see immediate improvement or see no improvement. So I took some time to decide and I had it done. It took 2 minutes with a laser. I almost cried but she was fine. She nursed great afterwards (on what milk production I had left by then ). Still working on milk production but it's nice to see her be able to feed well and not get so frustrated and not compress my poor nipples. No more pain! Yay! Now I feel like I can focus and experiment with regaining my milk supply without worrying about such bad pain.

    Anyway, something to look into. Posterior tongue ties are hard to catch it seems. You also have way more supply than I do and it sounds like plenty to feed your baby with mainly breastmilk right? Maybe try a SNS if you go back to breastfeeding. I noticed that part of the issue besides the TT was that my LO sucks super hard because of her milk transfer issue (now she does because of low production). When I use the SNS I can feel the sucking but it's not the damaging level as before. The major improvement in pain was after the procedure though. No more sandpaper tongue!

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