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Thread: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    It sounds like things are going so much better! Progress is like this...some things get a little better, then other questions/concerns arise. Overall this sounds very good to me. If you had never had to supplement your baby or had any concerns, then this:
    After getting home, up until now, she has been on the breast a lot. Very very often. The problem is that she still only nurses through the initial let down and after that either drowses off or gets annoyed or stops and waits for more. Mostly the former.
    would be considered entirely normal. This is how newborns nurse, including those that are getting enough and even more than enough milk.

    In my experience one of the hardest things for a mom who has needed to supplement her baby for any amount of time to do, is to let go of the idea that her baby may not be getting enough milk at the breast- to relax and allow herself to stop supplementing and pumping. And this is good- to an extent. Of course it is important to make sure baby is getting enough and that milk production is protected. Absolutely.
    But, it is also true that continued supplementing and pumping is going to interfere with the situation normalizing. Pumping and supplementing takes moms time and at energy at a point she has none to spare. And a baby who is getting supplements is not going to be nursing as much as is normal...either they will nurse less often or less efficiently or less amount of time each time, or a combo of these, because they are getting food elsewhere.

    So weaning off the supplementing and the pumping sometimes takes quite a leap of faith by mom. And this is really hard to do. But it has to happen, in order for you and baby to settle into the "normal" breastfeeding rhythm of very frequent nursing, cluster nursing, and short sleep stretches that is normal and expected in the newborn period.
    There is an "organization" in my country along the lines of the LLL, volunteers, they offer phone assistance and advice through a Facebook group and all their LC's advise to always taper off supplements gradually, reducing the amount every day/few days/not sure ATM
    This is because most times, mom is also increasing her milk production as baby is weaned off the supplements. You are already making enough milk, correct? All supplementing was already with your own recently expressed milk...so yes, this changes your pattern of weaning.
    The LC was pretty lax about it, saying to just offer the breast several times around and if she still seems hungry to give some supplement with the tube or something. That is the only thing I didn't like about the whole consult.
    I understand wanting more precise instruction, (and not wanting to use a tube) but in fact this is probably pretty good advice. There are no rules about exactly how to wean off pumping and supplementing because it is so different situation to situation and even day to day within each situation. If a mom makes enough milk, cold turkey weaning from supplements and pumping is entirely possible. But not always appropriate, as it depends how well baby is transferring milk. Unless you weighed baby before and after every nursing session, a royal pain, you cannot know how much baby took in each session...and since normally that amount varies a good deal session to session, this info is not always even helpful.

    What you can do much more easily is keep a close eye on baby's output- poops in particular. A newborn this age is usually pooping at least 3 times in 24 hours, usually more. Size of poop also matters, basically if you could scoop it up in a teaspoon it counts, streaks and dots do not, and the larger it is the more it counts.

    If a baby is getting enough to poop normally no reason to even look at pees. But counting poops makes sense. Going by babies behavior is problematic as again, the healthy, well gaining baby wants to nurse just as much as any other baby- a ton. Plus they get fussy, cry, etc. frequently it is just normal. Also short nursing sessions can be normal, but if you would like tips on keeping baby interested at the breast longer, have you tried breast compressions for when the milk flow slows? Also you can stimulate sleepy baby numerous ways- stroking babies body, pumping a hand or foot, jiggling the chin, switching sides or otherwise adjusting position... and just whatever you think of.

    I am sorry I cannot give you a specific plan of action. If you generally liked your LC, I think calling her and explaining what your concerns are in that area may prompt her to give you more of a plan. But remember no very specific plan is good beyond a day or two...because things change so rapidly, usually, for the better, as you and baby figure this out together.

    One thing that helped me a lot is I made a chart with each nursing session, how long baby nursed each side, and also poop output on it. Of course if you are supplementing/pumping you can add that info too. This is something my LC told me to do. It made me feel better to do this, and that may have been it's only real purpose...although of course it could also be helpful in looking at general trends if needed.

  2. #12

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Thank you so much for pointing all that out, you make excellent points and I agree on what you said about newborn behavior and the difficulty letting go of supplementing and pumping.

    I've decided to keep this up as is for the next day or two, just for my peace of mind and if it's okay then go cold turkey, if not then consider my options.
    The reason for that is the fact that she pooped a few times yesterday but she only managed to poop properly after the bottles. 2-3 good sized poops that would count as more with the teaspoon lol

    She got 4 2 oz bottles in 24 hours, the last she didn't finish entirely, drank about 1.5 oz. And she'd poop either during or after the bottles.
    In between she had two small poops that were yellow as usual cut greenish around the edges. Normally I wouldn't be concerned about that but I realized that we have another issue to consider with the current situation.
    I am at a slight oversupply at the moment and with the way she's nursing, many very short sessions, and the reduced pumping, my breasts are filling up, and she's basically just drinking foremilk.
    My guess is that's probably why she poops after bottles, because in them she gets both kinds of milk.

    I'll weigh her daily for a few days just to make sure she isn't losing weight, and will continue to monitor the diapers.

    It's so true...one problem gets better, several new ones arise

  3. #13

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Hi, just wanted to give an update on the current situation

    I'm proud to say we're on our third day of exclusive nursing!
    After the four bottles that first day after the consult, two bottles the next day (one of which she finished half, the other whole but it took several attempts) I decided to take that leap of faith and dive in.
    The diapers are now good, she is nursing round the clock, gaining weight, I still have to pump once around dawn just a bit to relieve the tension until things even out. But I think we made it!

    I'm still a bit suspicious, keep waiting for things to go south, just seems too good to be true, but I'm cautiously optimistic.

    She does get fussy at times and as soon as I start thinking she's not getting enough, not transferring enough, I go back to your last post and reread it.
    The scale and diapers tell me she is getting enough so eventually I do relax.

    I wanted to send you a big big thank you for your support and advice. Everything you wrote in your last post to me was exactly what I needed, the precise words I needed to feel better and trust myself.

    Just a big big thank you and a huge hug from me and DD <3

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    10,754

    Default Re: 10 day old breastfeeding problems

    Wow that it great! Thank you so much for the update. The hardest thing for moms to do is to trust their baby and their body and go for it!....You know how I mentioned I charted with my oldest? This was something I was told to do in the early weeks until we knew baby was gaining fine and I was no longer using a shield, and that happened around 6 weeks, so I always assumed I stopped charting at that point. A few years later I was reorganizing and found the chart...I had kept it for 6 months! I had no recollection of doing this. Obviously it took me forever to trust all was well! So you are doing amazing! Having doubts and concerns is normal. My son who I charted with is now 13 and always telling me "don't worry" but of course I do...this is what moms are supposed to do, after all.

    If you do not already have it, I suggest the book The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (8th edition.) It goes through each age/stage of breastfeeding with info about all the little quirks that concern moms along the way. One thing to be aware of is that measuring poops is helpful for a while, but any time after about 6 weeks some babies start pooping much less frequently- even going several days between poops in some cases- and it is entirely normal.

    Keep us updated!

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