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Thread: Paranoid about weak suction?

  1. #11
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    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    So far, it's going well. I have pumed every other day for a week an then stopped completely five days ago, while keeping track of weight an milk intake.
    He has been growing well in the meantime, about 10 ounces a week, although his weight fluctuates from day to day, sometimes going sllightly down, which is a little bit scary. He always recovered so far, though.
    If your baby is gaining that quickly you are fine as that is above average (nothing wrong with above average, but you certainly need not worry baby is not getting enough in that case.) Fluctuations in gain rate day to day or week to week are entirely 100% normal. Weight gain is just not something that would ever be precisely this or that per day or week. Additionally, be prepared for the fact that weight gain rate gets slower and slower as a baby ages. If babies kept gaining at the newborn rate they would be giants by the time they were 2. At this point you can stop weighing baby so much!

    Also, I have been quite engorged all day yesterday, I hope my supply is not starting to go down too much.
    Your milk production probably needs to ramp down somewhat, as you are making a little more than baby needs at this point. In that case milk production reducing is normal and expected. The more immediate issue with engorgement is that it might lead to plugs or even mastitis. If you are uncomfortable or getting hard, and baby will not nurse, fine to hand express a little milk for your own comfort. If hand expression is not working, you can pump but again, just enough to relieve the engorgement- this would be a time to pump "to comfort" and not to "empty" the breasts. That way you are getting milk out to help with your health and comfort, but not so much telling your body to make more. If you can get baby to nurse when you feel this way, that is usually the easiest and best option.

    Might this be the time to offer him a bottle occasionally, to get him used to it, so that he does not refuse it later? He has not seen a bottle for a month exactly.
    It sounds like things are going very well so yes, if you know that baby will need to take bottles at some point, fine to start the occasional practice bottle. To keep bottles from interfering in your and baby's breastfeeding progress, and to keep practice bottles from eating away your back to work stash, keep them small and infrequent. A couple times a week, an ounce at a time, is probably plenty for keeping baby in practice.
    How about a pacifier? He started being quite cranky in the evening, refusing the breast and not sleeping for two hours or so, and it would perhaps help.
    This is probably colic. If that is the case, if you can get baby to take a pacifier and it helps, fine. But don't count on it!

    The caution to take with pacifiers is similar as with bottles. Just as ideally you want baby eating at the breast rather than with a bottle for most of the time, ideally you want baby comforting at the breast rather than with a pacifier most of the time. But parents do find pacifiers helpful when occasionally, baby will not nurse for comfort, and also when they cannot nurse baby like during a car ride. Basically you want to keep their use for a specific scenario(s) and as infrequent as possible. Again, also for your own comfort to relieve engorgement, encourage baby to nurse for comfort. Sometimes you can get baby settled first with the pacifier and then switch to nursing.

  2. #12

    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    I am weighing him only once a day now, but I am taking track of his milk intake by weighing the diapers. The last three days he has been eating less than usual. Normally he drinks between 600 and 700 grams a day, but now he is eating around 500 grams.
    It's the least he has had in a day for over a month.

    Should I be worried? Is it normal for milk intake to decrease like this for a few days?

    Thanks again

  3. #13
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    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    Hi, it is normal for intake to vary, yes. It is normal for weight gain rate to vary as well over short periods (several weeks or less, and certainly between days.) What the studies the growth charts are based on measured was overall gain over months in healthy, normally gaining children. The "3/4 ounce to an ounce a day" or "6-8 ounces per week" that we say constitutes normal weight gain in the first 3 months (it slows after that) are based on the daily or weekly average of that overall, 3 months of gain, if that makes sense. Baby was gaining pretty rapidly for a while, above average. So it would make sense if weight gain slowed a bit.

    But I am confused about how you are measuring intake. I have never heard that weighing diapers is in any way an accurate way to measure intake. What comes out in diapers is mostly waste product- I am pretty sure what comes out does not exactly correlate to what goes in- Yes we can look at poops and wets and there are guidelines for what would be a normal number of poops and wets per day- but that does not mean how much the wet or poop diaper weighs.

    If there is a source that suggests this as a method for measuring intake, I would be interested. It may be valid, I just never heard of it.

  4. #14

    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    Hi, as usual, thank you so much for replying. I was expecting the milk intake to vary from day to day, or week from week, but not by this much. Because it had been consistently higher for two weeks or so, I thought it would stabilize around that level (with fluctuations, of course).

    To measure the milk intake, I add up the weights of pee and poo through the day and sum it to the change in weight of the baby in the same period of time. My reasoning is that the mass that comes in either stays in or is expelled.

    I don't think this is accurate, because it neglects sweat an other possible channels through which mass is discarded, but it's probably good enough for me, and weighing him often was annoying him.

    All I want is to make sure that the milk intake does not drop drastically ad, if it does, to do somethin about it soon. If he keeps gaining weight healthily for another couple of weeks, I will hopefully just relax, but things went so badly the first time I stopped supplementing, and I prefer being overly cautious for a while.

  5. #15
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    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    I understand wanting to be cautious. I would suggest watch pees and poops for appropriate frequency and volume, as suggested by lactation experts when gain is a concern. But do not weigh them.

    My reasoning is that the mass that comes in either stays in or is expelled.
    But this is not correct. Food fuels (and is consequently used up by) the body, and so what does not come out as waste does not just translate to weight gain. If this were true, people who had finished growing could simply stop eating. But of course any adult, even an overweight person, who stopped eating would rapidly starve to death.

    Breastmilk is food and it is very specifically the nutritionally perfect food for a baby. It is going to be mostly transferred by the body into energy that baby uses to first, live (it takes enormous amounts of energy simply to be alive) and then to move, and lastly to grow and consequently, gain weight. What comes out is waste product. So it is not going to in any way (except maybe with a very complicated ratio you could not possibly measure at home) correlate to gain like you are thinking.

    I just do not want you worrying unnecessarily. Keep baby nursing often, measure gain as needed, and watch pees and poops. Remember that poops often become less frequent after about 6 weeks, with some babies going several days without pooping. This is usually normal.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; May 3rd, 2017 at 09:43 AM.

  6. #16

    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Breastmilk is food and it is very specifically the nutritionally perfect food for a baby. It is going to be mostly transferred by the body into energy that baby uses to first, live (it takes enormous amounts of energy simply to be alive) and then to move, and lastly to grow and consequently, gain weight. What comes out is waste product.
    You're right, I was completely neglecting the mass that is discarded through other channels, which might be completely wrong. On the other hand, milk is more than 90% water, and water does not provide any energy, and I only wanted a rough number.
    Anyway, you are probably right that making wrong estimations would make me worry more than needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Keep baby nursing often, measure gain as needed, and watch pees and poops. Remember that poops often become less frequent after about 6 weeks, with some babies going several days without pooping. This is usually normal.
    Ok, I will start doing that instead. He has reached 6 weeks of adjusted age now, so I could expect poop to decrease soon (I don't think it has yet).

  7. #17
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    Default Re: Paranoid about weak suction?

    Well it may not decrease. Some babies just keep pooping frequently for months and that is normal too. Obviously if that is happening, it is reassuring. But since poop pattern changing to much less frequent is also usually normal, you just do not want to panic if that happens. In that case, weight gain becomes the most reliable measure. You can use pees as well, but be aware pees also normally become a bit more spaced out as baby gets bigger.

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