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Thread: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

  1. #1
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    Default I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Hello Everyone! My name is Brittany and I am a new mommy of a 13 day old handsome little boy. My world changed 12 days ago (well actually 42 weeks ago when I got pregnant!) and now I worry/stress about everything with little man. I KNOW and truly believe BF is the best thing for my son, so I am REALLY trying hard to make this work. So far though, it hasn't been.

    So my nipples are "flatter". They aren't super flat, and after using a pump, or shield I can get them pulled out a decent amount. However, my son has a mild tongue tie. When he was born we tried to BF, but in the hospital they ended up giving me a nipple shield and I have been using that. I am assuming this was for various reasons 1. my nipple being flatter 2. his mild tongue tie and 3. my nipples became cracked, blistered, and VERY sore.

    Fast forward to this past Monday. We saw an LC and he was gaining weight for the first 9 days. About an oz a day, but she said she wanted me off the shield and to start trying to get him to the breast only, no shield. Monday evening we saw the TT specialist, he said the same thing (going to breast) and if my pain wasn't there, we don't need to snip. So I am super excited and go home to start BF (because again, I REALLY don't want to snip his tongue unless I absolutely have too). Tuesday and Wednesday came, and I knew I was doing something wrong or he just wasn't feeding properly because everything after a feed 1. my nipples started to get sore again and 2. it looked like my nipple was pulled out (which is good), but it was flat as if he had been chomping on my nipple the entire feed. Needless to say, yesterday I just couldn't deal with the pain again and didn't want my nipples to get any worse, so I called his doctor. She said to use the shield again until we can have it snipped.... and now I have an APT with TT specialist on Monday. However, now when I use this shield I feel like NOTHING is coming out. Usually when I was using the shield, there would be milk in the shield at all times. Now, theres nothing. I know that he's getting SOMETHING because he will spit up sometimes after it, but I just don't understand because my boobs don't feel much softer after a feed, so I just get super frustrated and grab a bottle that I pumped previously to give to him. This is another fear of mine... nipple confusion. He's going from breast, to shield, to bottle, to dummy (when we are in the car and he is screaming bloody murder). I'm so frustrated and my husband keeps telling me to just go to formula to make it easier for me but I don't want to do that. I know that BM decreases the rate of SIDS, childhood cancers, etc... and I want to give him the best chance possible.

    I'm so stressed out.


    - Any moms have their child's tongue clipped? If so, how was the experience before and after? In yalls opinion, although its minor should I do it?
    - Any moms EP and bottle feed then go back to BF? How was that? Was your baby confused?
    - ALSO - my babies poop recently has been yellow and seedy (like I read it's suppose to be) but sometimes its green mixed in with the yellow? Is this normal? I'm clueless when it comes to BF and my girlfriend said her babies poop has been green/yellow.. but she also said her child only poops once a week (and my son poops at minimum 7-8 times a day, usually 9-11 times along with 6-7 wets a day)
    - Also, when I am pumping (I pump right after a "feed" aka trying to give him my right boob but I feel like nothing is coming out so I guess I am just letting him sit there on my boob for no reason.. sigh) I can usually get 3-4oz. I'm assuming that's not good? I have been reading where people pump like 25+ oz. My girlfriend pumps 45-55oz a day.

    Sorry it's so long but any tips/pointers/help would be REALLY appreciated. I'm so frustrated and upset that I literally just sit around and want to bawl.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Welcome to the forum and congratulations on the new baby!

    If this was my baby, I would definitely look into getting the tongue tie treated. My first daughter had an undiagnosed lip tie that caused, or at least contributed to, some pretty severe and long-lasting problems with breastfeeding. If I could go back and do things over, I would want that tie noticed and attended to. But that's my PERSONAL feeling. The thing about tongue and lip ties is that there is no guarantee that snipping a tie will improvise things. There's a good chance that things will be improved, but there's also a good chance of a neutral outcome (no immediate improvement or detriment), and some chance of things getting temporarily worse. (There is always a possibility of infection, and there are some reports of babies refusing to nurse after tongue tie revision.)

    I did EP for a couple of days and then go back to nursing. It was not a difficult transition in my case, but again, that's my PERSONAL experience. Individual results may vary, and we certainly know that a switch to bottles at a very young age is a risk for the baby refusing to nurse again or becoming very difficult to nurse. If you decide to EP, my personal feeling is that you want to temper the "exclusive" as much as possible, nursing the baby whenever you feel up to it. Even nursing just once or twice a day can help your baby retain his ability and willingness to latch.

    Seeing green poop mixed in with yellow is completely normal. Green is a normal poop color for young babies. You worry about it only if the baby is not gaining weight well or has additional symptoms of some sort of problem. From 0-6 weeks, most babies will poop multiple times per day, often pooping at every feeding. After 6 weeks, an exclusively breastfed baby may transition to pooping just once per day, or even as infrequently as once per week. My guess is that your girlfriend's baby is a bit older than yours, and that explains why yours poops many times a day and hers just once a week.

    The amount you are pumping- 3-4 oz- is actually greater than average for a mom who is pumping after nursing. A more typical amount to pump after feeding is somewhere around 0-2 oz, depending on how much the baby are when nursing. 3-4 oz is an entire feeding, and that would be a typical amount to get for a mom who is pumping instead of nursing. Again, your girlfriend's experience is not typical; her pump output is currently sufficient for 2 babies, and unless she has twins she has a pretty significant oversupply which can be a problem.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Hi, I am sorry you are having these issues. I agree with what mommal has posted. I would add a few suggestions.

    You say breastfeeding "is not working" - yet baby is gaining normally breastfed- correct? Just because there are issues does not mean the entire thing "is not working." Try to take absolutes out of your thinking. You will learn that nothing about parenting is 100% perfect and every thing about parenting will always be a process of making the best of things, fixing what really must be fixed and letting go of the rest.

    Try to not think you have to make things all better overnight. Your baby is only 12 days old. It is very common for breastfeeding to be rough at this point. Learning to breastfeed is a process, and it can take time. That is OK.

    Learn now to stop comparing yourself to other moms and your baby to other babies. You will never be the exact same mother as anyone else and your baby is also unique. As long as your baby is healthy and gaining normally (as your baby obviously is if baby is gaining about an ounce per day) your baby is getting enough milk and that means you make enough milk. In fact you are pumping such a high amount I wonder if engorgement is perhaps increasing the issues you are having. Full breasts are often harder to latch onto and increase any "flatness" nipples have. Encouraging frequent nursing will help with this. Also, something called reverse pressure softening before baby latches will help and may reduce the need to pump before baby nurses.

    Pumping before every nursing session so your nipple comes out seems like 1) a big pain 2) might be causing nipple injury and 3) might cause you to overproduce if you are actually pumping much milk. Given these I wonder if a shield is the better temporary option of the two. But this will depend on how you feel about it.

    Weaning off shields is usually a process, and can take time and patience. When the LC told you they want you "off the shield" I assume she also helped you with latching baby so you do not need the shield? If not, or if the suggestions are not working, I strongly suggest going back to her or seeing someone else who can give you help with this.

    If you want to breastfeed your child, ask your husband and anyone else whose opinion really matters to you to stop telling you to formula feed. I assume you are aware formula for infants exists and where to acquire it, so, no need to be reminded. If at two weeks my husband had not been 100% supportive of my efforts to nurse my oldest child, I would not be on here now because I would have certainly given up nursing. At that point we were having several very severe issues and also using shields at that point. But with the help of two great IBCLCs and my husband's unquestioning support I went on to nurse that child happily for a long time as well as my other two kids.

    Formula feeding is not "easier." It may be temporarily easier than breastfeeding when there are breastfeeding problems, but not over all any easier in the long run. Babies are babies and they need what they need. And what they need is hands on care pretty much 24/7. All babies, no matter what they are fed. Your husband can support you by caring for you and taking baby to be cuddled and changed or bathed etc. when you need a break or need a nap.

    Try to learn to stop comparing yourself to other moms! We are meant to make enough milk, not tons more than our babies need. Some moms do make much more than enough and in many cases that can be a serious breastfeeding problem.

    EPing is almost always much harder than solving the breastfeeding issues and continuing to breastfeed.

    A breastfeeding issue that is causing mom to have nursing pain and/or that requires a baby to use a nipple shield and is to the extreme that mom might give up breastfeeding is not minor.

    Learning different latch and positioning techniques and practicing/trying them over and over will almost always be helpful, whether tongue tie is treated or not. The best way to do this is to work with experienced people who will sit with you and teach you different things. This can be your IBCLC or an LLL Leader or just a friend who is experienced in breastfeeding. Here is a good article about what an appointment with an IBCLC might look like: http://www.cwgenna.com/lconsult.html
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 11th, 2016 at 09:53 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Mommal -


    I've tried to look for infection rates but I can't find anything... and my doctor said it's really low. Is this true? Is there any life/death risks? I know you said if you could go back in time, you would do it... so maybe I should go ahead and do it? I'm just so afraid something BAD will happen.

    And I'll be working with an LC nonstop until I can get it to work. I am trying so hard to make this work. I know it's my best option for little man.. it's just so so so frustrating and I literally feel myself starting to fall into a depression (which I know stress isn't good). I'm just so upset. A few of my friends didn't have it this hard and I feel like I have so many things working against me (tongue tie, flatter nipples, sore/cracked nipples, weight gain issues, etc). I just am ready to get this down and packed, and I hope that with the help of the LC after the clipping we can get this figured out.
    Last edited by @llli*bhacket4; June 11th, 2016 at 10:44 AM.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Maddieb-

    I think he is more so saying formula because he 1. wants me to sleep 2. sees me in pain and 3. just wants it easier for me. He's actually been incredible since I have had him. He makes me breakfast, lunch, dinner.. takes the baby when I need to sleep.. he's been incredible. I should have clarified that it wasn't for selfish reasons that he said that.. more so he just wants it easier for me, but I agree with you and will talk to him about not bringing it up. He knows I am dead set on breastfeeding.. so you're right, it is like a constant reminder that I don't want/need to hear.

    And he WAS gaining weight for the first 9 days; however, from Monday until Thursday he didn't gain anything. So that's why they wanted me off the shield completely because they are worried about his lack of weight gain. So as of now, I have been giving him my right breast.. trying to massage during the feed, etc.. but I know he isn't getting that much from that breast because I pump right after and it's making easily 2-3oz from my right breast alone. We are having him weighed again tomorrow at his pediatrician to make sure he gained weight. But I feed the right breast for 10-15 minutes, and then give him 2-3oz (depending on how hungry he is) that I previously pumped.. this is honestly just to make sure he is gaining weight. Monday we have the APT to get his tongue clipped (hoping this is the right decision.. but very nervous about it).. and then Tuesday have another APT with LC. I'm hoping everything takes a turn for the better because as of now, again.. I am SUPER depressed about the entire situation. Labor was MISERABLE, we've already had an ER visit (where he had to be poked numerous times and have 2 catheters... and it turned out to be nothing wrong), and now his tongue tie. I'm just ready for everything to get better for little man and for breast feeding to get better.

    I agree with you also on the "stop trying to compare myself to other moms"... It's hard. Being a first time mom, I just want to make sure I am doing everything right. I'm so obsessed over my little guy, I just want to be the best mom I possibly can be.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Hi, I am sorry you are having these issues. I agree with what mommal has posted. I would add a few suggestions.

    You say breastfeeding "is not working" - yet baby is gaining normally breastfed- correct? Just because there are issues does not mean the entire thing "is not working." Try to take absolutes out of your thinking. You will learn that nothing about parenting is 100% perfect and every thing about parenting will always be a process of making the best of things, fixing what really must be fixed and letting go of the rest.

    Try to not think you have to make things all better overnight. Your baby is only 12 days old. It is very common for breastfeeding to be rough at this point. Learning to breastfeed is a process, and it can take time. That is OK.

    Learn now to stop comparing yourself to other moms and your baby to other babies. You will never be the exact same mother as anyone else and your baby is also unique. As long as your baby is healthy and gaining normally (as your baby obviously is if baby is gaining about an ounce per day) your baby is getting enough milk and that means you make enough milk. In fact you are pumping such a high amount I wonder if engorgement is perhaps increasing the issues you are having. Full breasts are often harder to latch onto and increase any "flatness" nipples have. Encouraging frequent nursing will help with this. Also, something called reverse pressure softening before baby latches will help and may reduce the need to pump before baby nurses.

    Pumping before every nursing session so your nipple comes out seems like 1) a big pain 2) might be causing nipple injury and 3) might cause you to overproduce if you are actually pumping much milk. Given these I wonder if a shield is the better temporary option of the two. But this will depend on how you feel about it.

    Weaning off shields is usually a process, and can take time and patience. When the LC told you they want you "off the shield" I assume she also helped you with latching baby so you do not need the shield? If not, or if the suggestions are not working, I strongly suggest going back to her or seeing someone else who can give you help with this.

    If you want to breastfeed your child, ask your husband and anyone else whose opinion really matters to you to stop telling you to formula feed. I assume you are aware formula for infants exists and where to acquire it, so, no need to be reminded. If at two weeks my husband had not been 100% supportive of my efforts to nurse my oldest child, I would not be on here now because I would have certainly given up nursing. At that point we were having several very severe issues and also using shields at that point. But with the help of two great IBCLCs and my husband's unquestioning support I went on to nurse that child happily for a long time as well as my other two kids.

    Formula feeding is not "easier." It may be temporarily easier than breastfeeding when there are breastfeeding problems, but not over all any easier in the long run. Babies are babies and they need what they need. And what they need is hands on care pretty much 24/7. All babies, no matter what they are fed. Your husband can support you by caring for you and taking baby to be cuddled and changed or bathed etc. when you need a break or need a nap.

    Try to learn to stop comparing yourself to other moms! We are meant to make enough milk, not tons more than our babies need. Some moms do make much more than enough and in many cases that can be a serious breastfeeding problem.

    EPing is almost always much harder than solving the breastfeeding issues and continuing to breastfeed.

    A breastfeeding issue that is causing mom to have nursing pain and/or that requires a baby to use a nipple shield and is to the extreme that mom might give up breastfeeding is not minor.

    Learning different latch and positioning techniques and practicing/trying them over and over will almost always be helpful, whether tongue tie is treated or not. The best way to do this is to work with experienced people who will sit with you and teach you different things. This can be your IBCLC or an LLL Leader or just a friend who is experienced in breastfeeding. Here is a good article about what an appointment with an IBCLC might look like: http://www.cwgenna.com/lconsult.html

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Hi I'm on my phone so I will have to keep this brief but just a couple things.
    I personally have never ever ever heard of any serious injury or issue due tongue tie treatment. If you are seeing a competent practitioner I simply can't imagine there being any serious problem.
    The biggest problem with tongue tie treatment is that mom has the expectation it will fix everything and it doesn't. sometimes it just is not that simple that tongue tie treatment fixes all the issues. Sometimes it helps tremendously immediately sometimes it takes a while for the improvement to be seen, and sometimes there is no improvement. Very very very rarely it seems to make breast-feeding worse but I believe that in those cases it is because there was a misdiagnosis from the start, (and issues either are or appear worse because the wrong issue is being treated.)

    There is a good article about what we know about tongue tie treatment and what we don't now. If you Google Hazelbaker tongue tie unnecessary controversy or some combination of those you should be able to find it it's a fairly recent blog by a board-certified lactation consultant who has been studying tongue tie for decades.

    OK so I think I understand – you are concerned that you were pumping so much after baby nurses because baby is not able to transfer milk?

    Well that is not an accurate way to measure milk transfer. The most accurate way, would be to do before and after nursing weight checks. These aren't perfect but they are certainly going to give you a much better picture than what you pump after baby nurses. Has your IBC LC done those?

    I have to say I find it very strange that your baby would be transferring milk enough to gain normally for several days and then suddenly stop transferring milk that well. Why in the world would that have happened? I have to wonder if perhaps there was a scale error or some other issue. Has babies output also decreased meaning has baby stopped pooping several times a day?

    Are you giving your baby 3 ounces supplemental breastmilk after every feeding? Just sometimes? And is that per your LCs instruction or is that a number you came up with? I just want to say it's really important that baby is not over supplemented. Obviously if a baby needs to be supplemented then baby should be supplemented but over supplementation is likely to cause additional problems.

    I think your husband is doing great and I'm sure he will be understanding if you ask him to not mention formula again. Maybe assure him that if you are readyto try formula you will let him know
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 11th, 2016 at 05:43 PM. Reason: added comment in ()

  7. #7
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Ok here is the article about tongue tie I mentioned in above post: http://www.alisonhazelbaker.com/blog...ersy-continues

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Ok here is the article about tongue tie I mentioned in above post: http://www.alisonhazelbaker.com/blog...ersy-continues
    She just said to give him an oz or more after feeds if he didn't nurse well/my boobs weren't soft after feeds. Sometimes I did 2-3 oz just because I am not putting him on my left breast (too sore - trying to heal it), and I am afraid he's not getting much from my right. Whats the downside to over supplementing? I also just was trying to get him back up to birth weight so I thought 2-3oz (sometimes none or 1 depending) would help with that? I am so clueless....

  9. #9
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    Over-supplementation has several downsides, all related. When baby gets a big supplement, he doesn't need to take as much milk from the breast. Reduced intake at feedings leads to decreased supply. When a baby gets a big supplement, he doesn't need to eat as often. Reduced nursing frequency also leads to decreased supply. Reduced supply leads to increased needs for supplements. And when the baby gets a lot of his meals delivered by bottle, he is likely to start to associate the bottle with feelings of satiety and comfort, which can lead to reduced desire to nurse or even outright breast refusal.

    So you can see how unnecessary supplemental feedings can form a "top-up trap" for nursing moms. This is why the goal of a mom who needs to supplement is to go with the minimum amount and frequency of supplement necessary. And please note that I'm not saying that the issues above WILL come to pass. They are just the known risks of supplemental feedings.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I'm new here but I am severely struggling with BF...

    I can assure you that most new mothers are clueless in this area. I think mommal will agree that not only have we both been have been talking to moms/learning about breastfeeding for a very long time, we also learned a ton through our own experiences. We may sound like we know everything but 1) we don't and 2) we definitely knew nothing at all when we were brand new moms! You learn as you go with all parenting, however when it comes to breastfeeding, in our society we are all at a distinct disadvantage because the ins and outs of breastfeeding and related things like what is normal in terms of infant intake, weight gain, nursing frequency, sleep patterns etc. are not discussed (at all or enough) before baby comes and that lack of knowledge is something we unfortunately all have to rectify quickly when we become moms- and when we have breastfeeding problems of course we have to learn more, faster!

    Anyway, I suggest that you get the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. (8th edition) No need to read the whole book- at this point you can concentrate on chapter 4, 5, 6 and 7. No need to read the chapters in entireity- the book is designed so skipping around and skimming works.

    Can you call your IBCLC back, tell her you are uncertain about how much baby needs to be supplemented, and ask if she thinks it might be a good idea to come in so she can observe a nursing session and do a before and after nursing weight check? You obviously make enough milk for your baby. So if baby is not gaining normally at the breast (and again I wonder if there was a scale error or human error with one or more weigh ins) baby must either be not transferring milk adequately or not nursing often enough. I think you both need to have a better picture of what exactly is going on.

    Here are a couple basic facts about intake. At two weeks (it would be less before) an average ball park for total intake is 25-35 ounces per 24 hours and babies are nursing a typical minimum of 10-12 times in 24 hours. This means per feeding intake averages (it will not be the same every feeding) between 2 and 3 ounces per feed. So that is why when we hear you are supplementing that much it makes us wonder if over supplementation is happening.

    Also it is entirely possible a baby might get enough milk when nursing only on one side, just FYI. In fact at this age "one sided" nursing is pretty common (as in, baby switches sides each feeding)- also, moms nurse multiple babies and some moms nurse one sided due to a missing or injured breast. So even if you are pumping one side and nursing on the other due to the pain, this does not necessarily mean baby should get any or all of that expressed milk.

    I understand you want to get babies weight up because you are concerned about your baby and also so you are not told to supplement with formula. I get it. But over supplementing with formula OR your own milk is potentially problematic as mommal has explained.

    This article may also be helpful: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/newborn-nursing/

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