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Thread: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "experts"?

  1. #1

    Default Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "experts"?

    Hello! I'm a first time mom. I was told to make sure my baby nursed 15-20 minutes per side and if she was sleepy, to tickle her, undress her to her diaper, even use a wet cloth! Well, she was 7 lbs. 2 oz. At birth, lost weight in the hospital, then lost a bit more at home when they weighed her at 5 days. My milk came in that night and I worked hard to make sure she was nursing "long enough." At our 1 week weight check she was exactly her birth weight again! Great, right? Yes, but I still thought she should be nursing that long. That it would help her sleep better and get her on a schedule (Oh how I wish I had never fallen for that!). She started spitting up a lot and getting really fussy. I eventually stopped trying to make her keep nursing, thinking that was the problem. But, she's still very fussy, doesn't take good naps, pretty much needs to be moving constantly etc. I can't help but feel like I stretched her stomach or interfered with her need for sleep when I was asking her up early on and now I've caused all of these problems. Do you think I permanently changed her by not following her lead better? Do you think her fussiness is due to this or unrelated? If I did something wrong, will it be fixed now that I am following her cues? The mom guilt is strong in me!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    I am not sure what you would have to do to "stretch" an infants stomach, but it is not something that is likely to happen from nursing. And no, I do not think you permanently OR temporarily made your baby fussy by encouraging your baby to nurse. Babies fuss, and it is usually something we can neither control, create, or prevent.

    Also, There really are no irreversible mistakes when it comes to breastfeeding. Or very few. The only thing that sometimes becomes very hard to reverse is low milk production. Hard, but not impossible or at least not always impossible. Certainly what you are talking about does not sound like low milk production?

    I am not entirely sure what the problem is? What you are describing sounds like a normal newborn to me?

    Some questions to try to ascertain if there is a problem:
    How old is baby now?
    How is weight gain? You can provide complete weight history if you like
    How many times in 24 hours does baby nurse?
    Is nursing comfortable for you?
    Does baby seem to want one or both sides, usually? (or does it vary.)
    Does baby ever relax during feeds, fall asleep?
    Does baby appear to have trouble with a fast milk flow (gulping, gasping, choking?)
    How many times a day does baby poop and what does it look like?
    Where is baby typically napping or nighttime sleeping? (it is probably a variety.) Does baby seen to sleep best when snuggled on you? In a bassinet? In the same room as you? Same bed as you? Etc.
    Moving constantly- you mean, bounced in your arms, swayed, etc? Is this when nursing, during fussy periods....can you explain further?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    This sounds like a totally normal newborn to me. Something that often throws new moms for a loop is the change that occurs between brand new newborn and a baby who is 2-3 weeks old. Brand-new babies are typically "good"- that is, they are fairly sleepy, and they fuss only when they absolutely need to nurse. But around 2-3 weeks, most babies start to wake up a bit. They spend more time alert, and more time fussing, and they fuss for more reasons. All of a sudden it seems like everything bothers them- needing to poop, needing to burp, having a dirty diaper, too much light, not being in mom's arms, etc. The fussiness is often worst in the later afternoon and evening, when your resources to deal with it have eroded. It's a fun new developmental stage!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    Thank you for replying! Yes, I'm sure some (all?) of this is typical newborn behavior. I'll try to answer questions to give more info.

    Baby is 7 weeks.
    7 lbs. 2 oz. at birth. Regained birth weight by 1 week. 9 lbs. 11 oz. at 4 weeks. 11 lbs. 4 oz. just a couple days ago.
    She nurses 8-12 times in 24 hours.
    Nursing is very comfortable.
    She very close to always wants both sides.

    She will be relaxed during feedings a couple times a day. More often, she squirms and pops off, but immediately starts rooting around, so I help her back on. Sometimes she sort of "slurps" herself back on. This happens toward the end of the feed, so I don't think it's related to fast flow (see below) unless it's that she's frustrated when the flow slows.

    I think she does have trouble with fast flow. She gulps and sometimes coughs. I have done what I've read here and feed her leaning back. She seems to be getting better with this. However, she does continue to spit up/vomit while on the breast, covering my breast and her face with curdled milk. This happens 1x/feed and every couple days we might get through a feed without this happening.

    She sleeps best on my chest/in my arms/in the wrap. She sleeps in a rock and play sleeper at night (she was spitting up and coughing/choking on it which would wake her up when she was in the bassinet). I try to put her there for naps, too. if I can get her to sleep there, she will wake at 45 minutes crying and looking like she's still very sleepy. She sleeps so much longer when I hold her, that I often end up giving in so we can both get a good nap in.

    What I meant by movement was that she needs to be swaddled and then walked, bounced, swayed to go down for every nap. She cries during this until she falls asleep. I've tried getting her down sooner and later, but still she cries before sleeping. The swing doesn't work either. Only exception to the crying to sleep is the rare times she falls asleep nursing and I can hold her still and she'll nap.

    She seems to want to take a pacifier, but can't get a good hold of it and it pops out of her mouth. She almost bites it instead of sucking. I've tried 6 types. I end up letting her comfort nurse often to so the crying, but I think she gets a lot of milk still because of my let down.

    Thanks for reading. It's nice to have people respond as I feel very alone much of the time.

    So, yeah, maybe this is just how babies are and is something we have to go through. But I'm just so tired and so tired of all the crying all day, so I'm grasping for reasons/solutions. It feels like my other friends with babies don't have the same level of issues, but maybe I just don't see it.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    Oh! Forgot about her poops. They were yellow and seedy, but the last couple weeks have been more orange, hardly any seeds, and kind of slimy. Sometimes there will be long strings of mucus.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    So weight gain is good, poops are normal, baby's behavior is normal- I'm still not seeing a problem except perhaps one of perception. I remember when my first child was born- she wasn't anything like what I thought new babies were supposed to be! She was fussy all the time, she barely slept unless it was on my body, she was always spewing spit-up at one end and poop at the other, and she needed way more physical contact and care than I thought babies needed. And when she cried or fussed, or seemed unhappy or uncomfortable, I found it incredibly frustrating and distressing. I often wondered if I was cut out for this mothering thing, because other moms seemed so much less flustered by motherhood than I was.

    In retrospect, I think that the real deal is that we are so tuned in to our babies that we find their fussing and spit-up and neediness much more upsetting than anyone else possibly can. Those other moms, the ones who don't seem to have your level of issues? They feel the same way about their babies that you do. You just don't see it because they are putting on a brave face. Or because when their baby fusses, you don't feel the fussiness go right to the heart of your anxieties- you can't, because you're not attuned to that other mom's baby the way she is.

    Hang in there! And check out this article on "breastsleeping"- http://news.nd.edu/news/61145-resear...d-and-concept/. It might be a way for you to get a little more rest. Do you happen to have a baby sling or wrap? That could help during the day- an 11 lb baby can get very heavy when you are forced to continually carry her in your arms!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    I agree with mommal. The only thing is it does sound like there may be a bit of fast letdown going on, this is common and usually get s better with time. Meanwhile, aside from trying laid back or sidelying nursing positions, I would suggest encouraging baby to nurse more often overall. Baby can take one side at a time if she prefers, that is fine and often helpful, as long as nursing is happening frequently. Also be aware if you are doing anything that might increase milk production - pumping, taking galactagues...

    Comfort nursing is good. Babies need to be comforted to sleep one way or another and falling asleep at the breast is easy and normal. When the flow is a bit fast for baby, it can make it harder for baby to fall asleep nursing, but as I said that is usually a temporary situation. 7 weeks is still early days, so things are probably going to keep shifting and changing for a while. Usually, things get easier.

    Since a pacifier is not working, have you tried a fingertip or knuckle?

    My oldest spit up so much and those huge amounts. He would do that giant watery spit ups right after nursing as well. Ugh. I would wonder where so much could possibly be coming from! I kept piles of clean burp cloths all over the house and a large stash in my diaper bag. (inexpensive cotton flat diapers work great for this- we used the kind that is not "prefolded" so they are large and thin. Later they make great dust cloths, general clean up rags, etc- they last for years of heavy use!)

    It does get better!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Did I make an irreversible mistake following the "expert

    My oldest spit up so much and those huge amounts. He would do that giant watery spit ups right after nursing as well. Ugh. I would wonder where so much could possibly be coming from! I kept piles of clean burp cloths all over the house and a large stash in my diaper bag. (inexpensive cotton flat diapers work great for this- we used the kind that is not "prefolded" so they are large and thin. Later they make great dust cloths, general clean up rags, etc- they last for years of heavy use!)
    Oh my goodness, yes! Even if you ignore the rest of our advice, do yourself a favor and pick up a few of those cotton flats! They are the best kitchen and cleaning tools ever.

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