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Thread: Help For My Wife

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Maybe at this point mom needs rest and that is why pumping is not being suggested right at the moment? Yes ideally pumping is recommended whenever a baby is supplemented. ON the other hand, sometimes the ideal is not realistic and a plan needs to meet what mom can do. This plan has baby nursing a lot, which is good. Assuming normal or near normal latch and milk transfer, Bringing baby to the breast often is going to be good for breastfeeding overall even if baby also needs supplements.

    Finger feeding when done correctly is probably less likely to result in OVER supplementation than bottles, so that is a plus.

    Just remember babies tend to be fussy a lot of the time. So baby being fussy after nursing does not always mean baby needs a supplement. Try other comforting measures as well. The most accurate way to make sure a baby is getting enough to eat is by weight gain and the second most accurate is output (poops, specifically.)
    True, I was thinking along the lines of, if baby is only getting supplements a few times per day, AND if Daddy can be doing the finger feeding while mom pumps, that should take some pressure off all around. Also if baby has really managed to empty mom pretty well and baby was still hungry that would mean mom probably wouldn't have to pump for very long, perhaps just ten minutes so she would probably be done before baby was done being finger fed.

    One trick with the tube can sometimes be to tape it in place before latching baby on, that way you are not trying to thread it in. This sometimes works, other times not so much.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    Thanks for the advice everyone.

    The new plan seemed to go well overnight. Mom managed to get a good amount of sleep with very little supplement being needed (hopefully a good sign of milk coming in more).

    He was much fussier during the day (constantly wanting to nurse) though he seemed to fall asleep pretty quickly whenever he started. The biggest issue all day has been that whenever we try to redress him to put him back down after nursing, it wakes him back up again and he starts fussing/rooting all over again. It has made for a pretty long day.

    Our other current concern is that his output seems to have declined a bit since we started the new plan. He is still having wet diapers (though some of them are pretty small), but his stool output has gone down quite a bit. We haven't seen any major stool output since sometime yesterday though we have seen some crusty/drier looking stool (and not very substantial) output that was almost staining the diaper more than anything else.

    As far as the supplementing goes, I've been finger feeding some (2-3 times in the past 24 hours), and he has done pretty well at it. After about 20-30mL he stops taking any more and starts to fall asleep. Unfortunately, like with the nursing, as soon as I pack everything up and try to put him down, he starts fussing/rooting again.

    We have a pediatrician appointment in the morning to see how his weight gain has been since Tuesday so hopefully that will be some good news. It feels a bit like things may be moving in the right direction but my wife and I are both still discouraged. I'm not sure we can keep going worrying as much as we currently are about everything if the news isn't better tomorrow.

  3. #13

    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    Here's a potentially related question.

    My wife mentioned last night that twice she felt a pulling feeling like she could really feel him pulling milk out of her. This was the only time she's really had that feeling. Should she be able to feel each and every pull of milk? Is this a sign that he's maybe not latching properly after all? Or that he's not getting very good sucks?

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    5,753

    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    I will answer last post first. "Normal" latch and nursing is often described as a "gentle pulling." It's a good description, but how intense the sensation is will vary from nursing pair to nursing pair.
    What to look out for is PAIN when nursing (or in between) or very strong discomfort, and of course, any actual nipple injury, bleeding, cracks, scabbing, or bruising. These things do happen and are pretty common, but they do usually indicate that latch is not quite what it could be.

    It is pretty universal that newborns HATE to be laid down. This is a biologically mandated response. Your baby is driven entirely by instinct, and biology has not caught up to babies r us. For most of human history, a fragile human infant who was put down by it's mother died rapidly by being eaten or of exposure. Think about it, Primate mothers NEVER put their newborns down. Baby knows where baby is safe, and that is in mom and dad's arms.

    So many new parents find baby settles best while being held closely by mom or another trusted adult. Snuggled against mom or dad's or a grandparent's chest is where you will find most newborns happiest to sleep. If caregiver is also tired and may fall asleep, there are several precautions that can be taken so baby can sleep safely beside mom on firm bed surface. But if you are doing baby duty, and are sitting up on the couch, (leaning against the back, just not laying down) for example, and have baby snuggled to you against your chest, this should be perfectly safe as well. For more info on where and how of infant sleep, see this info: http://www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/thesafesleepseven and more: http://www.llli.org/sweetsleepbook/tearsheets Bedsharing may not be entirely appropriate in your case right now as baby is getting supplements (yes it actually matters what and how baby is eating) and due to moms illness.

    Poops: rule of thumb for poops is you want to see 3 or more "scoopable" poops each day. Big enough that you could scoop up in a spoon that you stir coffee with, (at least,) should you desire. The dried crusties are nothing to worry about, babies often 'go' every time they pass gas and that is what happens to normal baby poop in a super absorbent disposable diaper especially. But if that is all baby is doing, very small squirts and nothing bigger, then it is good baby will be weighed soon.

    TIP: To avoid being needlessly alarmed by scale error, (common!) make sure all weight checks are done carefully on the SAME, very accurate digital infant scale, with baby NAKED or only in a dry diaper. Watch the weight check being done and make note of the number and type of measurement used yourself. Even basic math errors can occur! If there is any doubt, ask that baby be weighed again before you leave. I am serious. I have personally seen the same baby miraculously weigh a full half pound different on two different scales in the same 24 hour period. And it is not just me, pediatrician Jack Newman discusses scale error at length in his breastfeeding book.

    Also make sure gain is measured from lowest known weight, NOT birth weight. Most babies lose weight after birth, but then start gaining within a few days.

    I'm not sure we can keep going worrying as much as we currently are about everything if the news isn't better tomorrow.
    The early weeks with a newborn are incredibly hard, even when everything is going perfectly. New parenthood is probably the hardest thing most people will ever do. It's scary, it's exhausting, it's confusing, and it's humbling. It is perfectly normal to feel utterly overwhelmed. I can only say - promise, actually- it really, really, does get better.

  5. #15
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    Mar 2014
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    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    I agree that It will get better, however, it will take a little bit to get better, don't expect a complete turn around in only a few days.

    I originally came to the forum when my LO was 10 days old and I was crying because feeding him was so difficult (I was using a lactation aid of sorts to supplement because baby lost too much during his first 5 days.) Back in the beginning I was having to supplement about 11 oz per day. My LO had an undiagnosed tongue and lip tie It wasn't diagnosed till much later and not corrected till 8 weeks. Definitely go to some lengths to figure out WHY supplementation is necessary so the cause can be treated/fixed sooner rather than later. Remember mom's milk supply is not the only reason supplementation might be needed, if baby is having a problem with milk transfer do to some issue, that should be evaluated and if poor milk transfer is the problem and it isn't fixed, it can cause mom's milk supply to suffer and dwindle.

    As for getting him dressed and putting him down after nursing. Best bet at least part of the time will be, Don't bother, Keep holding him or even let him sleep/comfort nurse till he wakes up again to nurse again for real. (At this point mom should probably only be handing baby off so she can use the rest room or perhaps shower occasionally.) The rest of the time have a few receiving blankets handy to cover baby if needed, otherwise baby can live in just a diaper, no need to dress/undress all the time. Skin to skin contact is a good thing.

    With my little guy, I don't think we were able to put him down much for the first two months and even now at 5 months he rarely sleeps long if he is not in very close physical proximity to a warm protective adult. During the first couple weeks when we were still too scared to co-sleep daddy would take him to fall to sleep listening to music on daddys chest till my alarm went off to nurse him. Then I did some research into co-sleeping safely and now we all get a little more sleep since he can nurse right in bed with me without any of us totally waking all the way up.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    The pediatrician appointment went well this morning. He has gained 2 ounces in the past 3 days and we are feeling much better about things for the first time.

    tclynx's mention of milk transfer did make me wonder. Are there any good ways to tell if the baby is getting milk from the breast easily? We've been told to look for him swallowing but it's pretty hard to tell if he is most of the time. We will occasionally (depending on position and wakefulness) be able to hear a distinct swallowing sound but most of the time he is sucking we don't notice this sound. When this is the case, we know that there is milk available because my wife is still able to hand express but we honestly have no clue how well he is actually getting the milk.

    I ask because we just had an hour of inconsolable wailing from him in which he would latch, suck for a little while, come off the breast, and immediately start wailing again. After attempting to feed for 15 minutes on both sides, we noticed that both breasts could still be hand expressed but he remained inconsolable. When I supplemented with finger feeding was the only way we could get him to calm down.

  7. #17
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    Jun 2009
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    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    Good news!

    I would not worry too much about looking for signs of swallowing. They are very hard to see or hear in many cases. It sounds like you see them sometimes which is good, it is normal for baby to be "louder' during part of the nursing session and quieter at other times, and even a quiet nurse may be still getting enough milk. And what are you supposed to do if you DON'T see swallowing? You know there is milk. So if baby is not getting milk, that (probably) means there are issues with latch, and I assume the IBCLC gave you ideas for getting a good latch? Breastfeeding takes practice for mom and baby. It really takes several weeks to get the hang of it in many cases. If it becomes clear baby cannot transfer milk effectively, (due to poor output or weight gain) it is probably a good idea to see LC again.

    Another idea if you think baby is not getting milk is to try breast compressions. But baby has to be latching and nursing for these to work. http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BC

    Here are some tips: Try to avoid baby ever getting frantic to eat. A frantic hungry baby is a disorganized baby and they have a much harder time getting that latch. Baby is coming up on two weeks, right? Babies tend to 'wake up' and get SUPER hungry around two weeks. They want milk and they want it now! Try to encourage baby to nurse at the very earliest cues or well before any cues even-it is fine to 'offer." Nursing before obvious cues may help.
    Sometimes baby just wakes up frantic and hungry. If baby cannot nurse due to being frantic, try calming baby with a little supplement in the finger feeder and then offer the breast again. Sounds like you did this? It is a good idea.
    Sometimes a little expressed milk dribbled onto the nipple helps baby get the idea that "this is the place' and keeps baby nursing until they are able to trigger milk flow. Hand expressing a little milk so there are some drops on the nipple prior to latching is the same idea.

    Sometimes just calming baby some other way prior to offering the breast does the trick.
    Keep working on finding latch and positions that work for mom and baby. Has mom been shown 'laid back' breastfeeding? Sidelying?
    Here are several latch and positioning ideas linked in one place. http://feedthebabyllc.com/latch-and-positioning/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; August 28th, 2014 at 11:05 PM.

  8. #18
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    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    I agree that often swallowing can be deceptive.
    Poor milk transfer is when there is plenty of milk at the breast but baby doesn't seem to be able to get enough of it. Often if baby is willing to latch and suck, doing compressions can help them get more milk faster but beware if there are tongue/mouth muscle problems you are more likely to see coughing/choking when you do this and that will be an indicator that correction and/or therapy would help. A shallow latch can also cause poor milk transfer (like sucking through a straw you are biting on.)

    Just to make sure, you are not Limiting baby to only 15 minutes per side? If baby still wants to nurse after 15 minutes on each side, offer the first breast again or let him nurse on the first side till he is done then switch. 15 minute per side is just a guide to get started with.

    I finally started weighting my LO before and after feedings just to figure out how much he was getting and to help me learn to identify effective nursing compared to his comfort sucking. He still gets some when comfort nursing but not nearly so much. both types of nursing are important so one shouldn't limit time at breast if baby wants to be latched on.
    Now I had been supplementing at the breast early on so baby was having a fairly easy time getting enough and it wasn't till I started trying to wean off the supplements that I wound up in Pain and discovered my son's tongue and lip ties. Definitely make sure your son is carefully checked for tongue/lip ties and that the LC evaluates his suck (like by doing finger feeding) to make sure it seems organized since those are SO much easier to fix and recover from the younger the baby is, the older baby is the more therapy is usually needed to correct the situation.

    Then again, if weight gain seem to be doing better, and there is no pain to mom from nursing and supply seems to be getting better, then nurse, nurse, nurse and probably only need to pump as many times a day as the finger feeding happens and well on the way to getting better.

    That is not to say the next month won't be hard, at minimum the first 6 weeks with a newborn are always VERY HARD and that is VERY NORMAL.

  9. #19
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    Sep 2012
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    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    http://sarahockwell-smith.com/tag/4th-trimester/
    The newborn stage is incredibly demanding. This link describes why babies need so much contact and simple ways to help them adjust to life. My youngest probably spent two hours total set down for the first month of his life between diaper changes and car rides. Every other moment was in mine or a family member's arms. I did the same with my oldest and he's desperate to get to preschool and leave me every morning.
    Sometimes the breast doesn't calm baby down. A different sort of stimulation is needed and that's a great time for dad to step in like you did. Take it as an opportunity for mom to get a break while you bond with baby. Don't let the fussy times cast too much negativity onto the whole breastfeeding relationship. It really sounds like you guys are making decent progress.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
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    Default Re: Help For My Wife

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*minute View Post

    I ask because we just had an hour of inconsolable wailing from him in which he would latch, suck for a little while, come off the breast, and immediately start wailing again. After attempting to feed for 15 minutes on both sides, we noticed that both breasts could still be hand expressed but he remained inconsolable. When I supplemented with finger feeding was the only way we could get him to calm down.

    Could it be that the baby is getting used the ease of finger feeding and becoming impatient when he has to 'work' for the milk at the breast? I've often heard of babies that are supplemented become fussy at the breast because it's not automatic milk, they have to work a little bit to get the milk whereas when given a bottle or other method the milk is 'given' to them.

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