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Thread: Me or Baby or Both?

  1. #1

    Default Me or Baby or Both?

    Hi all, I'm a FTM mom and new to LLLI. I had my daughter at 34 weeks via c-section due to severe preeclampsia. She is now almost 7 weeks actual, 1 week adjusted. After I had her, I didn't pump for almost 2 days because of the magnesium sulfate, I was just so out of it! However, had I know I would have had supply problems down the road, I would have had someone force me to pump even in my noncoherent state!

    Now, on to the current issue. Baby has been home now for almost 4 weeks, and we are just now getting her to latch, however she falls asleep rather quickly, after maybe 2-3 minutes of sucking. Sometimes I don't even think she stays awake for the let down.

    I had an IBCLC come over a few days ago and she said my problem was low supply, and that the reason my baby isn't staying awake is because she isn't getting any milk when she sucks. This completely breaks my heart and I don't want to believe it. I feel like I am doing soo much to increase my supply, taking fenugreek and blessed thistle, Reglan, lactation cookies, gatorade...I try to nurse every feed and then follow up with a bottle and pump. I get anywhere from 40-70ml when I pump, but she takes 90 ml per feed. I can't keep up and have to supplement with formula a few times a day.

    I've read that what you pump is not a good indicator of how much milk you have, and I feel like I might actually have more than I'm pumping? So now onto the question finally...based on your experiences, do you think I'm having a supply issue, or is baby just falling asleep because she's a preemie? I should also mention she was growth restricted and now at 41 weeks she is barely hitting 6 lb. Could it be her being a preemie and a peanut, and she just needs time to grow bigger and stronger? Or is my supply just not keeping her engaged? All thoughts and opinions welcome!

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    NOVA
    Posts
    317

    Default Re: Me or Baby or Both?

    Hello! I don't know anything about preemies, but I do have experience with struggling to pump enough. I think it's 1. great that you are getting her to latch! you've obviously done a lot of work and it's tough enough to get full term babies to latch properly, so good for you with your little one and 2. great that you are determined to keep going and pumping as well as getting her to latch. It can be incredibly tough to keep going with either, let alone both.

    I'm not the greatest with math but if I'm understanding you correctly, you pump roughly between 1.5 to 2.5 oz when you pump (sorry, I can't think in ml) but baby takes about 3 oz per feed. Yes, it's totally normal to get about that much with one pump, especially if baby is nursing before and getting milk out. And, a lot of moms have to either pump more to keep up or end up supplementing. I'm totally one of them but my daughter has gained on just breastmilk when I adjusted a few things and only gets supplemented when I'm away from her. So, no, it's not necessarily a supply issue. It could be, but it also could be something else. Or both, I suppose. And lots of babies fall asleep at the breast, not just preemies. My daughter does it all the time. But just because baby falls asleep doesn't mean baby isn't getting milk while sleeping.

    How did the LC come to the conclusion that the problem is low supply? Did the LC do a weighted feed? Watch her latch? Both? If baby is getting milk out, you should get less when you pump . . .most moms who are nursing and pumping get lower yields than moms who are exclusively pumping or separated from baby. You might want to post a complete weight history for the more experienced moms on here since they often feel it is helpful to give more individual advice.

    When you say any advice is welcome, do you want pointers on how to get more when you pump? I have some ideas based on what I've tried, but don't want to add them if that isn't what you are looking for.
    Last edited by @llli*dormir41; December 10th, 2015 at 01:51 PM.
    & working mom of one sweet baby girl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24,794

    Default Re: Me or Baby or Both?

    with the PP. I just want to add that when a mom has low supply, there is often a negative feedback loop with the baby. The baby doesn't nurse well or enough, and therefore doesn't stimulate a good supply, and therefore doesn't feel incentivized to nurse more effectively... So if you have a supply issue- which your pump amounts suggest is probably not the case at this point- the key to solving it is to continue to get in there with the pump and make up for whatever stimulation the baby is not currently giving you. I know that triple feeding (nurse, pump, bottle combo) is incredibly draining and time-consuming, but I think that if you can continue to put the effort in, you will eventually be rewarded.

    Did the LC do a weighed feed, or show you how to do one?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Me or Baby or Both?

    Hi, there I was in similar situation an year ago. My son was also born at 34 weeks weighing just below 4lbs. And i finally got him to EBF at 10 weeks (4 weeks adjusted).

    Here are things that helped me getting him back to breast:
    1. Pump minimum 8 times of day with hand compressions and correctly fitting shields. You can find good videos of same on U tube.
    2. I used to power pump I.e pump 20 mins rest 10 mins like twice in week in wee hours as prolactin levels are at peak then.
    3. Add hand expressions I'm between pump sessions, don't worry about yield of those ,its stimulation that counts.
    4. Put baby on breast before feed, after feed anytime, or anytime baby shows any sign of rooting. Remember babies suckle not just when.they are hungry but whenever they need comfort, thirsty etc. So actively use breast as pacifier.
    5. Feed baby in breast friendly ways like paced feeding, which is when baby is held in slight incline and given pauses. This will minimise risk of overfeeding baby. I know with premature baby weight gain is a concern. But in longer run it will help prevent flow preference.
    6. My Lc made us feed my son via finger feeding where baby sucks on pinky finger and milk is delivered via fine tube threaded along the finger. This helped my son in developing his facial muscle tone, tongue flexibility and increase suction needed to draw milk from breast.
    7. For premature tiny babies the position used in breast feeding also matters as there neck muscles are under developed. So I found biological nursing and football hold with correct support most helpful.
    8. It is natural to feel disappointed with premature birth. But any milk that you provide will immensely helpful to your child. Believe me after a year am really grateful that I stuck to BFing and am reaping benefits of it.
    9. As we slowly transitioned from Eping to EBF, I easesd the schedules given to us in NICU like x mls every y hours and nursed on demand. Just kept an eye on wet diapers and poops with regular weight checks.
    10. Breast feeding is learnt skill so there is a learning curve for baby as well mom, some just happen to take longer to get in the groove.
    I hope points above help.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Me or Baby or Both?

    Hello, you are amazing! You strive so much to get what your baby need in supply of milk. Try to stop pumping and hydrate yourself, it helps to produce milk and always make soup. It gives incredible supply of milk.
    Have fun taking care of your little angel!

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