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Thread: Help me please

  1. #1

    Default Help me please

    Ok. I have a 4 month old. We started out ok with breastfeeding. His latch wasn't always great but we were working through it. Out of frustration and exhaustion I agreed to lump and put some in bottles so his dad could do some nighttime feedings and I could get some sleep. Then the pdiayricuan said he was low on the growth curve and tried to push formula on me. I held off as long as I could and almost exclusively pumped and bottlefed but my milk has significantly slowed and we resorted to formula this past week because I wasn't making enough. We also tried thickening the breatmilk with baby cereal after being pressured my mom and mother-in-law but that was very obviously not answer and our little one let us know pretty quickly that he didn't like it.

    The formula is definitely not agreeing with him (no surprise there). And I have tried a nipple shield to encourage him to latch better. I am also drinking the milk makers teas and eating their cookies to encourage my milk supply. What else can I do? I would like to go back to exclusivley nursing and maybe find a different pedi that will be more supportive of nursing. Have a totally messed up? Is my milk supply permanently affected? Any suggestions will be very welcome.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Help me please

    Your milk supply can come back and you don't have to give up on exclusive breastfeeding, but it's gonna take some work. I was in a similar position recently. Just now getting better.
    First, if he cries when you try to nurse, it's not cause he doesn't want to, it's cause he can't. Don't pressure him. Trust me, it'll only make it worse. Instead, try nursing about ten minutes after he's gone into a deep sleep. If you're able to get him latched at all, that's a very good sign that he can probably return to nursing.
    Has he had any trouble on the bottle? If so, try an anti-colic bottle. If not, my best bottle suggestion is to get a nipple that mimics nursing. The NUK ortodontic nipple is good, but can be challenging for some babies. My son has latching issues even with bottles and the MAM slow flow nipple saved us. Try to find one that he tolerates that makes him work for the milk. Just make sure it doesn't leak when you turn it upside down. Also, having him suck on the nipple for awhile before giving him milk can help nursing.
    A few questions. You said he had latching problems, did you have nipple pain? Did he nurse for long periods of time? Regardless, if your supply is suffering and he's not gaining well, the first thing is to find a lactation consultant that knows the fourteen point check for a tongue tie. Barring that, find an ENT or pediatric dentist that does laser frenoctomies and get a consult. I can't emphasize this enough. If he has an untreated tongue tie you need to know asap. Your other efforts will have limited success until it's treated. I'll post a link to a national provider list a little later, can't right now.
    As far as your supply goes, it's so important to pump or nurse at night. After three months, milk supply is maintained by the frequency and quality of nursing. Between one and six am, you should express milk at least twice. If you can't do that, try to get up once during your sleep cycle at minimum. If you don't you put yourself at risk of plugged ducts or even breast infection.
    Have you had any breast soreness? Any pain or difficulty pumping? How frequently are you pumping?
    Hmm, what else? If he can't handle the formula try a different brand.
    Hang in there and don't give up. My son could only nurse a little once a day for the last three months and at one point quit nursing for two weeks. He's got his tongue and lip ties released now and nursing and my supply are both improving. Let me know how it goes and please stop taking advice from people who don't know what you're going through!

  3. #3

    Default Re: Help me please

    Oh yah, skin to skin time can be really helpful for both of you and help with nursing later. My son's sleeping on my chest right now. Also, have you tried hand exression? It kept me from losing my supply when exclusive pumping was giving me plugged ducts. I have tried everything when it comes to increasing supply. Hand exression is very effective. Also, have you tried more milk supply plus tincture? It's pretty good as long as you don't have thyroid problems or letdown difficulties or plugged ducts. Lol, lots of qualifiers there. Please take care of yourself and keep in mind that formula is temporary. Napping during the day and drinking lots of water and eating good food are very important for getting supply up. Your wellbeing is equally important in getting your son through this.

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Help me please

    Can you see a board certified lactation consultant? If a baby is not able to gain normally by breastfeeding, then that is a problem with breastfeeding. With rare exception, no one is trained in how to assess or address breastfeeding problems except a board certified lactation consultant. Unfortunately, this includes doctors who mostly have no training at all in breastfeeding issues and also are notorious for unnecessarily supplementing or over supplementing babies.

    Then the pdiayricuan said he was low on the growth curve and tried to push formula on me.
    This does not make sense. If you like, can you explain more about what exactly the doctor was concerned about?

    I am also drinking the milk makers teas and eating their cookies to encourage my milk supply
    If your milk production is low, herbal galactagogues may help. But these can be taken in much higher (more effective) amounts much more easily in pills or liquid form. Make sure you research any medicinal herbs before taking, whether they are in a tea, cookie or pill. There are also pharmaceutical galactagogues.

    Have a totally messed up?
    You have not messed up. You are doing your best to take proper care of your baby. You may have gotten some breastfeeding unfriendly medical advice from the doctor. Even if baby really was gaining poorly, again, the best thing would have been to have you seen by an IBCLC so breastfeeding could be assessed and any issues there, addressed. Also the night bottles may not have been the best idea, but if no one was offering you other solutions to sleep deprivation what else could you do? Let yourself off the hook. You clearly want to nurse your baby. This is your right as a mother.

    Unfortunately, when a baby is not gaining well, breastfeeding is so often blamed, but this is not rational. Breastfeeding is not a problem. Breastfeeding has never caused a baby to gain poorly. Baby not getting enough to eat is what might cause slow gain. Ok, that is an issue that can be solved without forcing a mother to give up breastfeeding! So rather then blaming yourself it might be more effective to think of this as a situation where you did not get the help or information you needed and move on. Rather than dwelling on the past, focus on what you can do to make the future more in line with your goals.

    Is my milk supply permanently affected?
    At this point I am unclear on if your milk production is even the problem. But if it is low, that is not necessarily permanent at all. Milk production can be increased at any point in most cases.

    Your mom and MIL should not be allowed to "pressure" you on your parenting choices. This is your baby. Trust me, this is not a precedent you want to set with grandparents because this will only be the first of many, many battles. They raised you. Now it is your turn. Also, while once common practice, pretty much no one today thinks rice cereal in bottles is ever a good idea.

    Also, are you using the best pump available and making sure it fits properly and is in the best working order?

    Ok aside from seeing an experienced IBCLC asap, I suggest the following:

    Book: My Child Won't Eat (explains growth charts and why so many babies are supplemented unnecessarily, among much more information.)
    Book: Making More Milk

    Articles: slow gain: http://kellymom.com/health/growth/weight-gain_increase/

    Low production: http://kellymom.com/hot-topics/low-supply/

    Pumping: http://kellymom.com/?s=not+pumping+enough
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 10th, 2017 at 03:00 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Help me please

    Ha, lots of posts, but this is the most important. Keep in mind that your pediatrician is a mandated reporter and may report you to cps if your son doesn't start gaining. Make sure he gets around thirty ounces daily. If nursing, weighing before and after can be helpful. Taylor Salter makes a good baby scale. Oh yah, the tongue tie provider list is at http://www.ankyloglossiabodyworkers....ider-list.html. The list doesn't include pediatric dentists or ENTs, but you can probably get a referral.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Help me please

    Thank you so much for your input. My husband thinks I'm just overreacting.

    We have tried several different bottles and the MAM ones worked the best. His gas and spit up reduced quite a bit when we started using those bottles.

    I haven't had any soreness or pain in my breasts. So I don't think a clogged duct is the problem. I have been a bit chincy on the night pumping. That might be the biggest problem. I will make sure to keep up with those better and see if that helps.

    Really my milk supply was great until we started a home renovation project two weeks ago. My assumption is the stress of that mixed with the change in diet(we're renovating our downstairs which left me without a working kitchen) are also contributing factors.

    I know he has been getting at least 30 oz or more. I tracked it for a few days just to make sure.

    I will look around for a lactation consultant for some help. The formula is Alimentum. It's supposed to be the most basic broken down formula for babies with possible food sensitivities. He had some issues early on and I have taken dairy and some soy out of my diet as a result. Seeing how he has responded to this formula has me very reluctant to try a different one.

    According to the pedi...he is growing proportionally, he is just in the lower percentiles on everything. In terms of hitting other milestones he seems right on track. He is very interactive, lets me know when he's hungry, tired, etc. he is starting to show a preference for me over anyone else, he is grabbing at toys, and experimenting with rolling from stomach to back.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Help me please

    You aren't overreacting.
    But seriously, if you were so exhausted that you had to give him expressed milk after that long exclusive breastfeeding, there was probably a feeding problem all along. It's not supposed to be that hard. Get him checked for a tongue tie , but don't take my word for it.
    Tonguetie.net/consequences/ and tonguetie.net/breastfeeding. If this sounds like you, your son probably has a tongue tie and the sooner it's addressed the better.
    A tongue tie can be a really subtle problem that's difficult to catch if it's not severe.
    It was for my son. It wasn't found until four months, but treatment has changed everything for us. If you want to nurse don't let anyone tell you to quit.
    The only big mistake you made, i'd say, is switching to pumping. It is much more difficult to maintain supply pumping than nursing and it's easier to fix nursing than reestablish it.
    But it's salvageable if you're patient. Stanford hands on pumping shows that hand expression used with pumping boosts milk production better than pumping alone. And more pumping between one and six am is helpful so an earlier bedtime could help.
    The sensitivity formula isn't necessarily the best one for your LO. Try one with lactose as it may be easier on his gut flora. You could also take probiotics to give his digestive system a boost since formula is difficult to digest. Or try a goat milk formula.
    If you want to start nursing again i would hold off on solids. They lose the instinct to suck around this time and he's probably confused enough already. Also, check that the MAM nipples don't leak when turned over and that you're using the slow flow ones.
    Search 'hands on pumping stanford'. Highly recommended. Also youtube has many hand expression videos. The best way to learn is to watch others do it. When you get an ounce after you're done pumping you'll never go back.
    As to my previous post, i wasn't implying you were doing anything wrong. My son was taken after he got sick and his weight dropped to the third percentile and the nurse didn't tell us. It happens, so it's always best to be cautious.
    Glad to hear your LO isn't at risk for that. Keep up the hard work. If I could get my son to nurse again, so can you. oh, kellymom has a page on getting baby back to thw breast. Didn't help me much because of tongue tie, but there's good info there.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Help me please

    According to the pedi...he is growing proportionally, he is just in the lower percentiles on everything.
    Being in the lower percentiles but gaining proportionately would describe normal growth. Some babies have to be in the lower percentiles and some have to be in the higher and some have to be in the middle. That is how growth charts work, otherwise there would not be any percentiles because all babies gained exactly the same! In other words, healthy and normally gaining babies vary in where they fall on the charts. They also vary in how much they actually need to intake per day. (This is according to the textbook Breastfeeding Answers Made Simple.) 30 ounces a day is an average estimate of typical daily in-take, and not what every single baby needs to have to gain normally. 30 ounces every day would be more than enough for some babies and not enough for others.

    Healthy babies can be at all places on the charts. So again, I have no idea if your baby is or was ever gaining poorly or not. I think seeing an IBCLC to help you make sense of what is or is not going on and what to do about it is a good idea. And it never hurts to nurse baby more often.

    Here is a good article about what to expect at an appointment with an IBCLC: http://cwgenna.com/lconsult.html I suggest if possible, call a few and have a brief phone conversation before you choose one to have a consult with. This is smart to do when seeing any health professional. Let me know if you need more info on how to find an IBCLC.

    Also btw LCs have to be very careful about not directly or openly disagreeing with the medical advice of a doctor. So don't expect an LC to tell you that you can stop giving baby formula if a doctor has told you that you must. I suggest listen to what the LC does tell you carefully.
    Last edited by @llli*maddieb; June 11th, 2017 at 03:05 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Help me please

    Hi. I'm a little confused. If he's porportional why would your pedi suggest formula? Did he drop ranges rapidly? That's another thing that might indicate a problem.
    I second maddieb. The thirty oz thing is only for formula fed babies or if there's a weight gain issue. If he's really just small he could need as little as nineteen ounces of breastmilk a day. It depends on him and the composition of your breastmilk. Kellymom has a neat calculator for expressed BM you might want to check out. I can't offer advice since i don't know what the growth chart looks like, but it's something to think about.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Help me please

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*maddieb View Post
    Being in the lower percentiles but gaining proportionately would describe normal growth. Some babies have to be in the lower percentiles and some have to be in the higher and some have to be in the middle. That is how growth charts work, otherwise there would not be any percentiles because all babies gained exactly the same! In other words, healthy and normally gaining babies vary in where they fall on the charts.
    This seems to be a really difficult concept for some health professionals. My son was in the lower percentiles but gaining steadily (straight line steadily). However, at a one year check up a health nurse told me that because he doesn't eat much solids (nursed a lot and was happy), he's in the lower percentiles. And of course I was then all stressed out about him not eating enough solids. At first round you just believe everything they say.

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