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Thread: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

  1. #1

    Exclamation Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    Excuse me please if this is all over the place but I'm desperate for some advice and support. I had my son one week ago on April 8th. He immediately latched and everything seemed to be fine so I continued breast feeding. My the end of day one my nipples were cracked and shaped at a angle as well as I had hickys on my areolas. A nurse noticed and told me she thought his latch may not be correct but I don't think she knew how to correct the problem so I continued. On day two I fed him for 8 hours straight and the only reason why he had finally gotten some sleep was because a nurse took him for some test and gave him a bit of sugar water which I was not happy about but was at a loss of what to do. By this time I had not slept in two days immediately after having him. Nursing was insanely painful and I was bleeding and scabing on both nipples. He had lost some weight by day three but was not under the 10% mark so we were able to be released and we went home. On day 3 he nursed non stop and I'm not exaggerating for 24 hours he would nurse for hours getting fussy in between sleeping for 10 minutes at a time and as soon as I would put him down he would cry so I would immediately nurse him again. I knew at this point something was wrong. He had not made any wet or dirty diapers and I was completely exhausted. I seeked a lactating consultant that helped me out a bunch. She gave me a nipple shield which has made all the difference with pain. She was very concerned with him not having any wet or dirty diapers and I called the hospital immediately. We were brought in and he was weighed, he was now down to loosing 11% of his body weight as well as no wet diapers was a issue. The doctor recommend supplementing with formula. I absolutely hated this idea but seeing him cry out of hunger broke my heart and I have in. I continued to supplement because I did not know what else to do but I did not want to give up on breast feeding so I did both as well as pumping a few times a day. I then found out he had gained 18 oz in two days he was pat his birth weight. That was a great feeling but I felt like I over did the supplementing. Of course being that I had a bad latch for the first few days I feel like my milk was already delayed and supplementing made it worse. I was breastfeeding for 20 minute so-hour before supplementing but i don't hear him swallowing as much and he always falls asleep on my breast. I decided to stop supplementing today being that he gained so much and my supply feels so low and I know that the more I nurse the more milk I will produce. He has been feeding for 4 hour increments and taking short naps in between but easily woken wanting to be nursed. He has made a few wet diapers but I know he's loosing weight. I'm feeling so discouraged and just gave in to formula so I could get myself back together. Should I stop supplementing completely or slow down. Is it normal for the amount he wants to nurse. This is tough but I don't want to give up.
    Last edited by @llli*mistiandmarley; April 15th, 2016 at 09:58 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    Hi. I am really sorry I do not have much time so this will be quick- just A few thoughts-
    1) at one week, anything is possible. So no, you and your baby have most certainly not missed your chance at breastfeeding.
    2) I think it might be medically impossible for a baby to gain 18 ounces in 2 days, as average gain for a newborn baby who has stopped losing and has started gaining (this usually happens around day of life 3 or 4) is about one ounce a day. So, If that is not a typo, then I strongly suggest there is some serious scale error going on. It happens, and it can make gain appear too slow as well as too fast. All weight checks from here on out should ideally be on the SAME SCALE, with baby naked or in a dry diaper only.
    3) You can expect a normal healthy gaining newborn to nurse at least 10-15 times in 24 hours. Lengthy nursing sessions (up to an hour or so) and baby nursing in clusters are both normal, but a baby nursing 4 hours straight with no break sounds not normal to me.
    4) You do not mention how much formula baby is getting. I would not suggest stopping supplementing entirely on a dime. First you may want to have further assistance with an IBCLC or in some other way, you are sure that baby is sustaining gaining normally without supplementing. However, if baby is gaining well, you can certainly reduce supplements. A normal meal for a one week old baby who is eating with normal frequency is one to two ounces at a time, maybe 3 ounces at SOME meals, but no more. Normla intake for the entire 24 hours is only about 20 ounces 0r so at this age (this goes up to about 25 or 30 in the next week or 2, then levels off) So think about that when supplementing.
    5) It is usually recommended that a mom who is using nipple shields pump at least a few times a day to protect her milk production. And pumping is definitely needed if baby is getting formula supplements so your production is protected. You may want to consider doing that, and if you do that, you will be able to supplement your baby with your expressed milk.
    That is all I can write right now, if you want more info on any of the above please let me know.
    good article: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 15th, 2016 at 10:15 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    He gained 6 oz overnight on the same scale and I never thought of the difference between scales when I weighed him yesterday I held him in my hands and weighed myself on my home scale and he had weighed 7 lbs and at the doctors he was 6 lbs 2oz so my second weighing is wrong. I will continue to supplement because I don't want him loosing too much weight. I hope by me nursing him before supplements it will help my milk to come in

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    For accuracy I suggest that all weight checks need to be on a digital infant scale, and the person doing the check must be careful, non-rushed, and accurate in how they are doing the check. Whenever there is a question of possible poor gain, I suggest mom watch the check carefully, read the scale herself, write the number down, and ask for two weight checks each appointment or if there is any reason to think the check might not have been performed correctly. Since you were told by doctor to supplement due to poor gain, I assume another weight check is scheduled soon?

    Since I do not know birth weight or how much baby was supplemented, I will not address the numbers, beyond saying that even 6 ounce gain in 24 hours seems very high. Also, Yes losing 11% off birthweight is a little high, but weight loss of 5 to 10% off birth weight in the first few days of life is fairly common and may not indicate any issue at all. So how severe the issue of gain actually is is a bit hard to measure with the info given.

    Clearly something is wrong with latch, as you were in pain and having injury, and continue to need a nipple shield (?) These all indicate an issue with latch, and a poor latch MAY indeed lead to baby not being able to transfer milk normally, meaning poor gain and (eventually, if uncorrected) to lower milk production. So something is up, I just am not able to tell the severity from this remove.

    As far as feeling like your supply is low, that can be very hard to know. When a baby nurses with very high frequency as your baby is doing, it is normal to not feel like there is much milk- there is never a chance for the breasts to feel full! It also can be very hard to 'see' or 'hear' swallows. Some babies are just really quiet. Also it is normal for a baby to fall asleep nursing. Also,
    as soon as I would put him down he would cry so I would immediately nurse him again.
    Newborns prefer to be held and often will cry if put down. Try keeping baby in your arms, snuggled against your chest after baby falls asleep, this may lead to baby sleeping longer. When you need a break, try handing baby off to someone else- do you have help there? Both you and whoever is helping you can hold baby skin to skin, skin to skin contact itself has been shown to improve weight gain.

    Are you able to see the LC again for a follow up?
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; April 16th, 2016 at 12:19 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    with MaddieB.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    Because he had no wet diapers I was more concerned then the weight loss but once I gave into supplementing I continued to supplement with 2oz every 2-3 hours as well as bf for a hour+. I continue to use my nipple shield but today attempted without it now that my injuries have healed and it was not painful so I'm going to continue without it. Today all we did was breast feed no supplementing and he had wet and dirty diapers so I Think we Are getting somewhere. He did feed for 5 hours on and off falling asleep for 10 min at a time then waking up wanting to be nursed but he eventually fell asleep for a hour and then again after another feeding for two hours. Hopefully our night continues to go well. I will be bringing him to get weighed on Monday and we have a dr Apt on Wednesday. When he was weighed the following day after being supplemented for the first time the nurse had said how uncommon it was to gain that much weight and she re weighed him and it was the same weight although I had just fed him so that may be adding to it.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Have I missed my chance at breastfeeding

    Wow that sounds like great progress! I am not surprised, things change rapidly in the early weeks. Please let us know if more issues arise. Cluster nursing as you describe is usually normal. If you want, you can try breast compressions to see if that helps baby get more milk faster, but it might not change the nursing behavior. Here is info: http://www.breastfeedinginc.ca/conte...agename=doc-BC

    Yes if baby has just been fed (or, conversely, if baby has just made a large pee or poop and the diaper changed) that shows up on the scale as a higher or lower number...this is why it is so important to not only make sure the weight checks are being done as accurately as possible, but also to not put too much concern on a couple of ounces one way or another. Also weight checks are ideally at least a week or two apart, and once you are sure gain is normalizing, then you can weigh baby much less frequently- every few months. Because little ups and downs are normal, and babies tend to gain in fits and starts rather than steadily, checks that are too close together may be needlessly alarming. What you are looking for is normal overall, overtime, average gain.

    Pees can tell us whether baby is possibly dehydrated or not, but are not usually enough information to be sure baby is getting enough to gain normally. Of course lots of pees is great, but a baby could be adequately hydrated and still not be getting quite enough to gain. Additionally, some diapers are so absorbent that 'reading' pees is very difficult, leading to needless alarm. Poop frequency and look is a better indication, a normally gaining baby will typically poop 3-5 or more times per day. BUT SOME babies gain fine without that much poop, and also, poops normally become less frequent after 6 weeks or so in some babies. So accurate weight checks are the most reliable sign of all.

    Here is a diaper log if you like: http://www.llli.org/docs/00000000000...diaper_log.pdf

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